Our Blog

Sports Injury Fix’s resident running expert Mike James recently wrote his top tips on injury free running and follows this up by expanding his thoughts on the hot topic of strength training for runners.                                                                                  Benefits of Strength Training The injury incidence among runners varies between 11–85%, or 2.5 to 38 injuries per 1000 hours of running.1,2 Research suggests that the top 3 benefits of strength training are:    1. Reduce overuse injuries   2. Improve running economy   3. Improve performance  Strength training has been shown to reduce overuse injuries by up to 50% and improve performance.3,4 A recent review found that strength training improved running economy by 2-8% and time trial performance by 2-5%. It also dispelled many common misconceptions relating to strength training being detrimental to endurance activity as maximum oxygen uptake, blood lactate and body composition all appeared unaffected.5   Get strong and stay strong, coupled with appropriate management of training load and recovery appear to be the biggest factors we can actively affect in reducing injury risk and improving performance.   Despite such obvious benefits a large proportion of runners do not undertake regular strength training.  In fact, a study of 2008 US Olympic marathon triallists found that roughly half did not do any whatsoever.6 This statistic is anecdotally supported whenever I question runners in clinic, at race events or during the courses and workshops that I present.  Misconceptions of Strength Training I believe many age old, long held misconceptions exist regarding within the established running community. The top six misconceptions on strength training are:     1. Fear that it will negatively impact endurance performance   2. Increases in body mass   3. Be detrimental to their training    4. Are not ‘functional’ for running   5. Are less important for injury reduction than stretching   6. That it is complicated to master and needs instruction from an expert  When these are combined with time constraints, work and family commitments, the belief that it needs to be undertaken in a gym, and a failure to appreciate the potential positive benefits then it is understandable why it hasn’t become a staple part of the runners training regime.  Making the Most of Strength Training When I do come across runners who perform some degree of strength training, then they often do so with the outdated belief that as an endurance athlete they should perform high reps/low resistance workouts to target endurance capacity. Whilst this may be more beneficial than performing zero strength training, it may fail to maximise the benefit available. Eventually, when skill acquisition and confidence of the low load exercises is achieved, low repetition, high load appears more beneficial to the runner than remaining at high repetition and low load. Building a greater capacity to tolerate forces and generate power will ultimately provide a greater stimulus for the system to perform and reduce injury risk. The current evidence appears to support the notion of performing concurrent strength and endurance training for maximum benefit that includes increased movement economy 7, reduced / delayed fatigue 8, increased maximal speed and enhanced capacity anaerobically. 9 As with all training regimes though, compliance is key.  In summary I believe strength training has the potential to produce a more robust, economical runner with a reduced likelihood of injury when coupled with appropriate training and recovery schedules. How to Start Strength Training? So, we’ve established that strength training is worthwhile but how and where do you start? Do you have to join a gym? The key is to keep it simple and then progress as you feel comfortable and see benefit. We know that a large proportion of people fail to adhere to exercise, even when part of a rehabilitation plan, and a major factor in this is unclear instructions 10. For that reason I believe that  the top two tips when starting are:    1. Do it at home   2. Use Bodyweight exercises  The guide below gives a simple regime of 6 exercises that can be completed 2-3 times a week and less than 20 minutes a session.  A beginner’s guide to strength training for runners at home:  As with all training regimes, compliance is key, and I have designed a simple regime of home, bodyweight-based exercises for the runner to try. Blagrove et al 5 states that the most effective type of training prescription is difficult to identify at present but suggests an optimal dosage may be 2-3 x week for 6-14 weeks (longer is better!) and when run training increases in the lead up to a race, then once weekly may be sufficient to maintain gains.   On a practical level, try to allow 3 hrs after high intensity running before performing strength training, and allow at least 24 hrs recovery afterwards before completing high intensity running. Aim to complete 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise. This can be performed as a circuit or one exercise at a time. Allow around 30-60 seconds rest between sets as required.   Should the exercises become easy, or you are already performing bodyweight exercises, then adding some resistance as shown below is advised. Simple equipment such as water bottles, sand bags, rucksacks filled with books will add extra resistance, however, if you have access to simple fitness equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells and resistance band, then they work well also. Again, aiming for 8-12 repetitions per set, 3-4 times.  This is by no means an exhaustive list of exercises for the runner. They are simply an introduction to strength training at home. Exercise dosages are simply a starting point for the general runner and should the runner wish for further progression and/or to develop specific components of strength, such as power or plyometric ability, then guidance should be sought from an expert.  Exercise 1 - Squat  Squatting is a common daily task that is common place in many strength training regimes.  When we look for “most bang for your buck” type exercises, then it’s no surprise the squat is at the top of the list. By nature of its multi joint strength and control demands encompassing many types of muscle contraction, then it becomes a fundamental exercise for the runner.                                                         Air squat – feet shoulder width apart, stay tall and strong, lower with control to a depth you can control and then drive through the legs to return to the start position.                                                          Progression – add resistance – this variation is called the goblet squat and adds both resistance to the lower limb and trunk control. Wearing a ruck sack converts the exercise to a traditional back squat type movement.  Try to avoid excessive forward lean, knees tracking over the toes and the knees collapsing inwards at the bottom of the squat. Try to keep the chest up as if to show off your favourite race T-shirt to someone in front of you. Progression through to heavier resistance and / or a single leg squat variation would be appropriate.              Exercise 2 - Deadlift  Another fantastic multi joint movement with excellent emphasis on the posterior chain. Whereas the squat is a knee driven exercise, the deadlift is a hip driven movement, meaning, most movement is a pivot / hinge at the hip whilst keeping an upright strong trunk. The knees will need to bend when you feel the hamstrings pull. Only lower as far as you feel you can control, then drive back to start.                                                         The deadlift can be a difficult exercise to master and may require practise of a simple hip hitch movement before developing into the full technique. A simple technique is to stand a few inches from the wall, try to touch your buttocks against the wall without bending the trunk or knees.                                                                            If performing well, add resistance as above, or try a single leg version (below). Running involves significant amounts of single leg support and control and this is an excellent exercise for targeting this. It is an advanced technique and takes time to master.                                                         For each deadlift variation, aim to keep your hips higher than your knees, your buttocks moving back rather than down, and your trunk and upper limbs square and facing forward. Add resistance again as tolerated.          Exercise 3 - Calf Raise  An essential exercise for runners. The calf complex and Achilles tendon transmit and absorb massive forces and increased capacity in these tissues will almost definitely benefit the runner. Begin with a finger tip supported drill if required, potential strength gains and loading should not be affected by limitations in balance and coordination. Always concentrate on full range movement right up onto tip toes and with control. Time under tension is crucial for these muscles.                                                                                                                               Perform with both straight leg (Gastrocnemius biased) and bent leg (Soleus biased) variations to maximise effect. The key cue is to always move in a vertical direction with the ball of your foot in contact with the floor.            Performing on single leg is an effective progression (straight leg shown only but remember to perform with bent leg also.                                                         Finally, performing both types over a step / stair will allow you to take the heel “below the level of the floor” and increase the range the muscles can work through. An effective strategy for increasing resistance safely is to use a rucksack with weight in it. This will allow you to maintain your hands in a free position should fingertip support be required. These progressions are merely options and do not all necessarily need to be performed to progress. Simply adding load and / or more time under tension (taking longer to perform the repetition) may be appropriate.                                                             Exercise 4 - Bridge  Another fantastic posterior chain activity, easily performed at home without the need for expensive, complicated equipment. Begin with the double leg variation. Raise your buttocks/trunk off the floor, aiming to achieve an imaginary straight line running through your knees, hips and shoulders, variations include a very slow and controlled raise/lower or a faster raise and lower with a small pause at the top position.                                                         Key errors to avoid are overarching of the lower back, failure to raise to the top position and holding the breath throughout the movement. Play around with foot positions to bias certain muscle groups more or less than others. Bringing the heels closer will increase Gluteal work, whilst moving them further away will increase hamstring activity – be careful they don’t cramp!                                                          To progress either move onto a single leg variation or add resistance across the pelvis as illustrated below. The resistance band can also be performed on the single leg variation as required.  Exercise 5 - Step Up   Another great fundamental exercise that demands stability and control throughout the single leg as per the actions required for every stride when running.  Be cautious when selecting the height of the step to be used. Don’t get too ambitious too soon if new to this exercise. Key coaching cues include driving up through the weight bearing foot/leg and maintain control throughout. Many runners perform this exercise based on the momentum generated from the movement and this should be avoided.  Remember the resistance level used shouldn’t compromise the control on the down phase whilst returning to the floor.                                                                    Adding an upper limb movement that replicates a running pattern whilst progressing to a high knee step up variation is an effective technique for runners to develop. Once mastered, adding resistance to the step up (again, a loaded rucksack is often sufficient) can be effective. Other techniques to increase resistance include the following. Give them a go and see which ones you find the most beneficial.                                                                         Exercise 6 - Core  The topic of core strengthening is much debated and controversial. Many exercises such as the plank have been advocated as effective exercises for runners. Personally, I feel core work needs to include two aspects: controlled rotation and an anti-rotation element to encompass the demands of running. Here are two variations that focus on these aspects.  6a. Anti-Rotation via Pallof press I find resistance band is perfect for this drill. A resistance band can be found in many high street shops and/or online. It is manufactured in different grades of resistance differentiated by colour.  For this exercise – position yourself so that there is enough tension on the band to make you feel like your trunk wants to rotate towards the band. Whilst resisting the rotation, drive /push your arms forward, this will increase lever length and increase the effort needed to resist rotation towards the band. Perform with the band pulling from both sides of your body. It can be performed in kneeling or standing depending on level of ability. I particularly like the single leg standing variation as a high-level drill, but as with all the exercises, this requires time and patience to master and progress to.                                                                                                                                                       6b.  Rotations  For this exercise the intention is to do the exact opposite of the Pallof press. We are aiming to rotate against the band whilst maintaining control throughout. Focus on trying to rotate through the trunk and not by simply turning the hips and pelvis. Again, perform in kneeling, standing or eventually on single leg, progressing only when control is effectively maintained. It is important to maintain control on the return to the start; a common mistake is to use a resistance that is too heavy, and the return phase becomes a recoil as opposed to a controlled movement.                                                                                                                                       Hopefully you may find these helpful and effective at improving your running and reducing injury risk. We're really excited to hear how you get on so please let us know via social media Twitter and/or Facebook If you have any queries, please seek the assistance and advice of a running specialist via sportsinjuryfix.com    References 1.Buist I, Bredeweg SW, Bessem B, et al. (2010) Incidence and risk factors of running-related Injuries during preparation for a 4-mile recreational running event. Br J Sports Med.  44(8), 598-604. 2.van Gent R, Siem D, Van Middelkoop M, et al. (2007) Incidence and determinants of lower extremity running injuries in long distance runners: A systematic review. Br J Sports Med. 41(8):469–480. 3.Bredeweg S, Zijlstra S, Bessem B, et al. (2012). The effectiveness of a preconditioning programme on preventing running-related injuries in novice runners: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Sports Med.46:865-870. 4.Lauersen J, et al. (2014). The effectiveness of exercise interventions to prevent sports injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Sports Med.  48:871–877. 5.Blagrove R, Howatson G, Hayes P. (2018) Effects of strength training on the physiological determinants of middle- and long- distance running performance: A systematic review. Sports Med 48:1117-1149. 6.Karp J. (2007) Training characteristics of qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2:72-92. 7.Storen O, Helgerud J, Stoa E. et al (2008) Maximal strength training improves running economy in distance runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 40:1087-1092. 8.Aagaard P. (2003) Training-induced changes in neural function. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 31(2):61-67. 9.Mikkola J, Rusko H, Nummela A. et al. (2007) Concurrent endurance ad explosive type training improves neuromuscular and anaerobic characteristics in young distance runners. Int J Sports Med 28(7):602-11. 10. Sluijs, E, Kok, G, & van der Zee, J. (1993) Correlates of exercise compliance in physical therapy. Physical Therapy, 73(11), 771-782.

How Can Strength Training Help Runners? Written November 2018

We are delighted to again be running The Treatment Room at The National Running Show 19th - 20th January 2019. It's at the NEC Birmingham and after the sell out success of last year then they're doubling the size of the show. Tickets are normally £10 but as an exhibitor we've been given an exclusive link to free tickets here. It expires on 20th December so you'll need to be quick so you don't miss out.As you can see from the photo, last year we were swamped from start to finish, so we've got double the number of therapists coming along to provide advice, guidance and treatment. We focus on people not profession finding the right trained professionals that specialise in injuries associated with your sport. As runners most of us have been told to "stop running it's bad for you" only to see someone different who gets us back running.  On hand we'll have Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Osteopaths, Sports Therapists, Sports Rehabilitators and Sports Massage Therapists ready to help and they're travelling from all over the country. It's shaping up to be a brilliant show with some amazing speakers and companies there. We'll also be working with RockTape, Cardiff Met Podiatry School and The Running School plus one or two more hopefully. Our priority is helping the people start and stay running so always happy to work with other businesses to help make sure people get the right help they need. This will ensure whatever the issue there will be expert advice on hand. Timing wise for shortest queues, last year the Sunday was slightly quieter than the Saturday and after 1500 people were being seen quickly.  Come along and say hello, it will be great to meet you.  If you've got a niggle or injury then find help now. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to ensure you keep track of helpful and/or exciting updates. See you in January!           

Free tickets for National Running Show Written November 2018

Given the array of people offering sports injury treatment from a multitude of professions one word that keeps coming up is trust. How do you know who to trust to ensure they have the required level of training, have the qualifications they say they have and are committed to continuing professional development? The key thing is membership to a respected industry association. In order to gain membership qualifications are checked and there is an ongoing continuing professional development (CPD) requirement every year. On sportsinjuryfix.comwe’ve done the hard work for you.  You can see which association memberships are held by therapists along with reviews of that therapist.  We often get asked which association is ‘best’ in the various professions but that is a very subjective point. All of them have been set up with the aim to promote their profession and serve their members. Some have been set up to focus on a particular subset of a field such as sport whilst others have been set up because they wish to operate in a different way to existing associations.  If you’re a therapist reading this and wondering who to join, then we recommend speaking to each association in your field, and some of their members, to decide which one fits in with your values and vision.  Below is a guide to explain who the different associations are and what reassurance you can get from someone being a member. This further helps you find a therapist you are comfortable with and can trust. Interestingly in ‘newer’ professions that do not yet have a statutory body, such as Sports Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation, CPD requirements and the percentage of members CPD audited tends to be higher. Chiropractic Associations General Chiropractic Council(GCC) - MandatoryThis is the statutory body and in order to call themselves a chiropractor an individual must be registered with the GCC. Qualifications are checked on sign up which need to be a minimum of graduate level. In order to stay a member, they must complete 30 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) per year of which 15 hours must be learning with others. The GCC advised sportsinjuryfix.com that 10-20% of submissions are checked annually.  British Chiropractic AssociationServes and supports members and promotes the Chiropractic profession. Over 50% of the UK’s registered Chiropractors are members and insurance is included as part of membership. Osteopathy Associations General Osteopathic Council (GOC)- MandatoryThis is the statutory body and in order to call themselves an osteopath an individual must be registered with the GOC. Qualifications are checked on sign up which need to be a minimum of graduate level. In order to stay a member, they must complete 30 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) per year with a requirement that 15 of those hours are learning with others. The GOC advised sportsinjuryfix.com that 100% of CPD Annual Summary Forms are checked, 20% of CPD Annual Summary Forms are audited for detail, and 2% of the register are required to submit evidence of their CPD activities. Institute of OsteopathyServes and supports members and promotes the Osteopathic profession. Insurance is included as part of membership. Osteopathic Sports Care AssociationServes and supports members to provide knowledge and skills required for the management of sporting injuries in practice and in the sporting environment. Promotes Osteopathy within sports and as part of a modern inter-disciplinary therapist team. Physiotherapy Associations Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) - MandatoryThis is the statutory body and for an individual to call themselves a physiotherapist they must be registered with the HCPC. Qualifications are checked on sign up which need to be a minimum of graduate level. The HCPC deals with standards of education and training; conduct, performance, and ethics; fitness to practise; and protection of the public. There are CPD requirements in place and the HCPC advises that audits are conducted periodically with 2.5% of people per profession per renewal period, which is every two years. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)Theprofessional, educational and trade union body for physiotherapists, assistants and students in the UK. Serves and supports members and promotes the physiotherapy profession. Full membership of the CSP provides membership benefits including insurance subject to terms and conditions.   Physios in SportSupports chartered physiotherapists who are interested in and/or work in Sports & Exercise Medicine (SEM). Has a well-respected CPD pathway with three levels, bronze, silver and gold. A bronze member will have a minimum of two years post graduate working experience, a minimum of four years for silver and minimum of six years for gold. This is alongside a series of courses, shadowing, self study and reflections. Podiatry Associations Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) - MandatoryThis is the statutory body and for an individual to call themselves a podiatrist they must be registered with the HCPC. Qualifications are checked on sign up which need to be a minimum of graduate level. The HCPC deals with standards of education and training; conduct, performance, and ethics; fitness to practise; and protection of the public. There are CPD requirements in place and audits are conducted periodically with 2.5% of people per profession per renewal period, which is every two years. Society of Chiropodists and PodiatristsServes and supports members and promotes the podiatry and chiropodist profession. Insurance is included as part of membership. Institute of Chiropodists and PodiatryServes and supports members and promotes the podiatry and chiropodist profession. Insurance is included as part of membership. Sports Massage Associations Criteria for membership of sports massage and soft tissue associations is typically referred to in levels, normally sports massage level 3 qualified and upwards. For an explanation of what those levels mean see here. The Association for Soft Tissue Therapists (SMA)Formerly called the Sports Massage Association. Serves and supports members and promotes the sports massage and soft tissue profession. Insurance is included as part of membership. Members are required to meet criteria which, on average, is sports massage level 3 and upwards from a reputable provider. Members are then graded based on their experience and CPD as follows:·      Full Member with no further status: recognised qualification with less than one years post qualification experience·      Full Member with Bronze status: recognised qualification, between one and four years post qualification experience and a CPD record of 40 hours per annum on average from year two onwards.·      Full member with Silver status recognised qualification, between four and eight years post qualification experience and a CPD record of 40 hours per annum on average·      Full member with Gold status: recognised qualification, more than eight years post qualification experience and a CPD record of 40 hours per annum on average The Institute for Soft Tissue Therapists (ISRM)Originally called the Institute of Sport and Remedial Massage. Serves and supports members and promotes the sports massage and soft tissue profession. Members must undertake a A minimum of 15 hours a year to spend on CPD requirements. ISRM is a registered BTEC centre which has established the BTEC* Level 5 Professional Diploma in Soft Tissue Therapy. It licenses a number of small independent schools who run the qualification. Insurance is included as part of membership. Members are required to be BTEC Soft Tissue Therapy level 5 or equivalent level 5 qualified.  BTEC stands for British Technology and Education Council and was set up in order to provide vocational qualifications.  BTEC levels 4 and 5 are roughly regarded as equivalent to first and second year degree level. Sports Rehabilitation British Association of Sports Rehabilitation and Trainers (BASRaT)Serves and supports members and promotes the graduate sports rehabilitation profession. Membership includes full insurance, subject to relevant terms and conditions. BASRaT advised sportsinjuryfix.com that continuing professional development requirements are in place on an annual basis and that checks are carried out for a selected number of members at random each year. As membership numbers changed this can change year on year. Sports Therapy Associations Sports Therapy Association (STA)Serves and supports members and promotes the sports therapy profession. Qualifications checked on sign up and at renewal. Insurance is not included as part of membership but discounts with a preferred supplier. There are 4 types of membership:·       Student membership ·       Associate Membership – Level 3 Sports Massage·       Full Membership – Level 4/5 Sports Massage and/or Sports Therapy diploma·       Graduate Membership – FdSc BSc MSc Sports Therapy or Sports Rehab. An electronic CPD diary is provided every quarter to members and discounted and free CPD is available via their education partners. They do not run CPD as they believe that it is a potential for conflicts of interest. 25% of members CPD every 6 months is audited and are currently working on an online file repository for members to store and record their development along with their online profile Sports Therapy Organisation (STO)Serves and supports members and promotes the sports therapy profession. Qualifications checked on sign up. Insurance is not included as part of membership but discounts with a preferred supplier. There are 4 types of membership:·       Student membership ·       Affiliate Membership – Level 3 Sports Massage·       Silver Membership – Level 4 Sports Massage·       Graduate Membership – BSc Sports Therapy. Only for one year after graduation.·       Gold Membership – Level 5 Sports Massage, Sports Therapy/Sports Rehab level 5 and above. The STA told Sports Injury Fix that they have CPD requirements and check 10-20% of submissions a year. Society of Sports Therapists (SST)Serves and supports members and promotes the sports therapy profession. Qualifications checked on sign up. Insurance is included with membership. Therapists are eligible to join if they are graduates holding a BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy, MSc Sports Therapy or Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Therapy from a University or College with which The Society of Sports Therapists has a collaborative agreement. The SST advised Sports Injury Fix that once a therapist becomes members the SST ask at every renewal that all members sign a declaration which confirms that they have been undertaking CPD.  A 10% random selection are then audited for their CPD on an annual basis. Other Related Organisation Complementary & Natural Healthcare CouncilA UK register of complentary health practitioners for 16 professions, one of which is sports therapy. Requires a qualification from a recognised National Occupational Standards (NOS) body for membership and this is checked.  It is professional standards accredited but for some reason there has been limited take up by sports therapists and few are listed. There is a requirement to undertake 15 hours of CPD a year and 5% of members are audited annually.

What does it mean if a therapist is a member of an association? Written November 2018

Sports Injury Fix’s resident running expert Mike James has spent over 20 years treating novice to elite runners worldwide from 1500m to 100-mile races. He is also a competitive runner who has completed over 100 marathons and ultra-marathons, so when he talks, we tend to listen. Running is one of the most popular leisure and sporting activities undertaken worldwide, and it has been stated that running has numerous positive effects on health and fitness.1  Regardless of age, ability and goal, running related injuries (RRI) are common, and despite having a generally low level, mid-range dynamic nature, a relatively high incidence of RRI is observed. Depending on injury definition and length of follow up period, the injury incidence among runners varies between 11–85% or 2.5 to 38 injuries per 1000 hours of running.2,3 The evidence supporting causes of RRI is less robust 4, and in fact a disparity exists between the reason’s runners attribute to their injury cause and the current evidence. Saragiotto et al 4 questioned recreational runners and found some of the runner’s beliefs regarding injury cause were not supported by the research literature, but importantly stated that their study may contribute to the development of better educational strategies to prevent RRI. In fact, they found that established factors leading to RRI predominantly include training error, high BMI and previous injury. Despite an abundance of expert therapists who are extremely capable of diagnosing and rehabilitating RRI (see Sportsinjuryfix.com to locate a running expert therapist near you), I have taken the authors advice and produced the following top 5 tips as an educational strategy to attempt to reduce the risk of developing RRI. 1.     Choose the right training regimeArguably the most important and crucial decision that can make or break a season or race plan. The running world is now saturated with coaches and programmes that are readily available. From the highly popular “one size fits all” named coaching system type regimes to bespoke 1:1 tailored regimes to the popular website/magazine downloadable standard issue regimes, there are a plethora of regimes purporting to get you to your goal. However, if you choose the one that pushes you too hard too soon based on your current levels or the timescales available you may increase injury risk and fail to make the start line. Likewise, choose the regime that doesn’t push you enough and that goal, PB or podium finish may never materialise. If possible, speak to an established coach with a high success rate and go for the tailored approach. The extra outlay in cost will be more than worth it, especially if it means you don’t lose out on race fees and travelling costs due to injury or end up paying someone like myself even more to get you to the start line! If you do use a “cut and paste” type regime, check that it progresses load appropriately. Gabbett et al 5 outline the risk of injury via an excellent (and easy to use) calculation of acute (1 week) versus chronic (last 4 weeks) workload. The same author also states that it isn’t necessarily the amount of work load that you do that determines injury, more so, it’s about how you get to that workload via progression that may be the biggest factor leading to injury. Prepare for the training regime. Many runners develop injuries by simply failing to prepare for a regime. Plan backwards and add a few weeks as needed prior to commencing these sessions to build a sufficient base level needed to start increasing your running. The body will need to be subjected to load in order to adapt, but it must be done progressively and effectively.  Quality trumps quantity every time. 2.     Be consistent, but flexible Consistency is the key to running success. Stick to your plans, commit to the regime. However, life gets in the way sometimes and other commitments, injuries and fatigue can side track you from time to time. Don’t chase the sessions you miss, don’t cram extra miles or speed into follow up sessions. If you are training correctly 80% of the time, then you will almost certainly achieve your goals. It is better to line up at the start line, slightly “undercooked” than “overcooked”. Injuries and the potential for injury will be far greater if you lack the ability to listen to the body and use a sprinkling of common sense. Anyone who achieved anything remarkable did it through consistency. As my old coach told me back in the day “Be the Bamboo” – strong and determined but having the ability to bend a little when needed! – be committed and stick to your plans, but always be prepared to bend a little if needed but get back on the plan as soon as possible! 3.     Get strong and stay strong!Recent years have seen an increase in the evidence supporting Strength and Conditioning (S&C) for endurance sports. Research suggests that S&C can reduce overuse injuries by up to 50% and improve performance.6,7 I would argue that EVERY runner would benefit from including a little strength work into their regime to assist their bodies to adapt to and manage training loads. A general approach, largely able to be performed at home should suffice, however for runners who are already experienced in S&C, or are looking to further develop strength and power, then an element of dynamic, plyometric work may be beneficial. If in doubt, seek advice from a professional regarding specific exercises for running. A recent review found that strength training improved running economy  by 2-8 % and time trial performance by 2-5%, and dispelled many common misconceptions relating to strength training being detrimental to endurance activity as max O2 uptake, blood lactate and body comp all appeared unaffected.8  Get strong and stay strong as it appears to be the biggest factor we can actively affect in reducing injury risk and improving performance. Performing 2 sessions per week in the off season, coupled with a once weekly maintenance session in season appears an effective strategy for endurance athletes.8 4.     Recover and RehabIn all my years of competing, treating and coaching runners, this is the single biggest factor that is neglected and can ultimately lead to injury. It is the fine balance between stressing the body and allowing it to recover that maximises performance and minimises fatigue and injury risk. Everybody is committed to training like a “pro”, but we need to be equally committed to recovering like a “pro” as well! A structured training regime will factor in recovery weeks and blocks of periodized training to allow recovery. Many methods both scientific and more anecdotal are available to monitor fatigue both in the short and longer term. Seek the advice of an expert on finding out about these. Eat well, sleep well, hydrate and enjoy down time with friends and family – you will be earning it.Much debate exists regarding the effectiveness of tools such as foam rollers / trigger point devices, tapes, massage, compression clothing, cryotherapy and heat, and yes there will always be a large placebo effect to consider. But as long as you are training, strengthening and recovering well, then these tools can help get you to continue running. I regularly see many runners in training for a “check-up”, some soft tissue work and other modalities to help them recover and relax in order to keep training hard. Visit sportsinjuryfix.com to find an expert near you who can help you find what what will work for you. Remember – train hard, recover harder! Unfortunately, the demands of running inevitably often leads to injury. Thankfully, they are often just niggles and largely not serious in nature. Seek advice and guidance from one of our many experts at sportsinjuryfix.com, explain your plans and work together to address these issues, allowing you the best chance of completing the training and races ahead. 5.     ShoesTry to have several pairs of shoes that you regularly switch between. Changing shoes helps disseminate forces between different structures and allows load to be managed effectively. It is difficult to prescribe specific shoes as runners will respond differently to different footwear. When purchasing new shoes Nigg et al9 recommends selecting a shoe based on comfort primarily, I would also recommend selecting a shoe based within your budget. If injured, then certain shoe types may be helpful for specific conditions.  A minimalist shoe may be effective for a runner with knee pain, a larger heel drop may be effective for runners with Achilles tendon or calf pain for example. Generally, I would advise replacing a shoe after 300-600 miles, but monitor how they feel, and when they lose comfort and feel like they aren’t doing what they once were is a simple and easy monitoring strategy. Most importantly, good luck and remember to find your nearest running injury specialist at sportsinjuryfix.com    References1.    Nielsen R, Buist I, Sørensen H, et al. (2012). Training errors and running related injuries: a systematic review. Int J Sports Phys Ther.7:58-7.2.     Buist I, Bredeweg S, Bessem B, et al. (2010) Incidence and risk factors of running-related injuries during preparation for a 4-mile recreational running event. Br J Sports Med.  44(8), 598-604.3.     van Gent R, Siem D, Van Middelkoop M, et al. (2007) Incidence and determinants of lower extremity running injuries in long distance runners: A systematic review.Br J Sports Med.41(8):469–480.4.     Saragiotto, B, Yamato, T, Lopes, A. (2014) What do recreational runners think about risk factors for running injuries? A descriptive study of their beliefs and opinions. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther44(10):733-8.5.    Hulin, B, Gabbett T, Lawson, D. et al. (2016). The acute: chronic workload ratio predicts injury: high chronic workload may decrease injury risk in elite rugby league players. Br J Sports Med; 50:231-236.6.     Bredeweg S, Zijlstra S, Bessem B, et al. (2012). The effectiveness of a preconditioning programme on preventing running-related injuries in novice runners: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Sports Med.46:865-8707.     Lauersen J, et al. (2014). The effectiveness of exercise interventions to prevent sports injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.Br J Sports Med; 48:871–877.8.     Blagrove R, Howatson G, Hayes P. (2018) Effects of strength training on the physiological determinants of middle- and long- distance running performance: A systematic review. Sports Med 48:1117-1149.9.     Nigg B., Baltich J, Hoerzer S, Enders H. (2015) Running shoe and running injuries: myth busting and a proposal for two new paradigms: ‘preferred movement path’ and ‘comfort filter’. Br J Sports Med 49:1290-1294.  

The Sports Injury Fix top 5 tips to running injury free Written November 2018

Sports massages are normally advertised as being able identify and loosen areas of tightness helping to stop them developing into injuries. There are mixed opinions on the evidence of the effectiveness of sports massage[1][2]but there is evidence of the psychological benefits of massage[3]and advocates claim it can improve the recovery from injury by helping to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness[4]and stress[5]. As such people who find sports massage beneficial tend to have them regularly, particularly pre and post event. It is an area where regularity may help. The more often you go to a sports massage therapist the more they can learn your body and know where to focus. Sports massage is regulated on a voluntary basis rather than by legal statute which means that the title sports massage is not protected. It is thus worth checking the credentials of the person you are seeing to ensure they are a member of a reputable industry association such as the Sports Massage Association (SMA) or the Institute for Soft Tissue Therapists (ISRM). What do the qualification levels mean?Sports Massage qualifications range from a level 3 to 5 with 5 being the highest vocational sports massage qualification in the UK.  Level 3 and 4 therapists are trained on massage for injury prevention and as part of preparing people for activities. A level 5 therapist is trained to provide management, manipulation and rehabilitation of injuries. When qualifications are listed it often includes a 4 letter acronym before it such as BTEC level 5 sports massage.  These letters describe the training body that provided the training.  There are a number of key providers, such as the largest one BTEC, but also includes ITEC and VTCT.  All have to use the same criteria when approving qualification levels and although people may have their preference they should be equivalent to each other.  Level 3- A level 3 therapist will have learnt the basics with a focus on preparing the body for sport, maintenance, and recovering from an event. Level 4- A level 4 therapist has received more in depth training and understands the role posture plays, common syndromes, muscular imbalances, and treating common sports conditions. Level 5 - A level 5 therapist builds on this training learning a wider range of sports conditions, understanding the role and impact of gait mechanics, the peripheral nervous system and a wider range of orthopaedic tests and assessment methods. They learn more about treatment planning and rehabilitation.   Paul Medlicott the Chair of the SMA says "The Sports Massage Association sets education standards for their members that help to ensure clients receive the most appropriate treatment for their personal requirements." Mel Cash, chairman of the ISRM says “Regular sports massage as an integral part of a training programme should help you stay injury free and enhance your performance. However, if you sustain an injury it is better to see a therapist with a Level 5 qualification who is trained and insured to treat minor and chronic sports injuries. All ISRM registered therapists have this level of training.”   Find your nearest sports massage expert who specialises in your sport at sportsinjuryfix.com   [1]The role of massage in sports performance and rehabilitation: current evidence and future direction. N Am J Sports Phys Ther. 2008;3(1):7-21.[2]Hemmings B, Smith M, Graydon J, et al Effects of massage on physiological restoration, perceived recovery, and repeated sports performance British Journal of Sports Medicine 2000;34:109-114.[3]Hemmings B, Smith M, Graydon J, et al Effects of massage on physiological restoration, perceived recovery, and repeated sports performance British Journal of Sports Medicine 2000;34:109-114.[4]Hilbert JE, Sforzo GA, Swensen T The effects of massage on delayed onset muscle soreness British Journal of Sports Medicine 2003;37:72-75.[5]The role of massage in sports performance and rehabilitation: current evidence and future direction. N Am J Sports Phys Ther. 2008;3(1):7-21.

What is Sports Massage, can it help treat and prevent sports injuries, and what do the qualification levels mean? Written October 2018

Podiatry is an independent medical speciality for the assessment and treatment of the foot, ankle, lower limb and associated structures. As Podiatrist we assess and treat a wide range of disorders. The profession is continuing to grow and evolve, particularly with the advent of advanced and extended scope practise.  There are several Universities in the UK offering 3 to 4-year degrees in podiatric medicine, we are members of the Health care professions council as are other allied healthprofessionals i.e. Physiotherapist’s. Most will also qualify in prescription only medicines, minoroperations and procedures and Local analgesia certification, and can go on to specialise in a wide range of medical disciplines, with increasing skills in diagnostics and widening range of treatments both medical and non-medical.  Currently in the field of sports most Podiatrist are either providing footcare for painful foot corns/calluses and minor lesions, whilst others concentrated on biomechanics and orthotic prescription to help with foot/ankle, knee hip or back related mechanical pain. Others have specialised in minor or elective foot/ankle surgery treating a variety of orthopaedic or musculoskeletal type complaints affecting the foot and ankle. Biomechanics involves careful assessment of lower limb and postural mechanics in movement (your gait) the way you walk and move, and excessive forces through soft tissue and bony structures. Such clinicians will often work closely with other practitioners, for example Physiotherapist’s, sportstherapists, chiropractors, orthopaedics and sports medicine doctors. The sports podiatrist is a rare bread and valuable asset to most sports and their medical teams. There is a new generation of, advanced practitioners in musculoskeletal medicine, if you are lucky enough to find one. We are a small group approximately 13,115 (Hcpc-uk.org, 2018) Podiatrists nationally (ref). Of those most will work in the NHS in various medial disciplines, diabetes, rheumatology, neurology, msk and orthopaedics, not many NHS employees will be sports specialists, because of the way the NHS is funded. Most will be dealing with chronic long-term injury or disease. Private practise is where you will find most of our sports specialist colleagues. These will generally utilise various types of computer aided software and gait or postural analysis systems. From this careful assessment they may suggest a specific exercise/rehab regime, perhaps a change in running or gait style, and possibly work towards prescription orthotics to help influence or alter lower limb / foot function, either to help prevent injury, treat injury or improve performance. There is a wealth of research in this domain, as always, some positive and some maybe negative viewpoints on the way podiatrists assess and treat their patients. Most excitingly, the sports podiatrist is evolving to offer more, extending scope of practise. The traditional boundaries and professional roles, are blurring, for over a decade now practitioners have been able to train assess and treat outside of their traditional roles, gaining new diagnostic and treatment skills as extended scope practitioners, now more commonly known as advanced practitioners. Examples include; diagnostic imaging, injection therapies, soft tissue and joint mobilisation and manipulation, acupuncture, cryosurgery, electrosurgery, platelet rich plasma, advanced local anaesthesia, dermal fillers and botox, minor ops and procedures and more. Many of these advanced practise courses for Podiatrists, are to be found via one of the more forward-thinking professional bodies, in my opinion, The Institute of Chiropodist’s and Podiatrists (IOCP). Mr Abid Ali CFPodM, MFPM RCPS (Glasg)Consultant Podiatrist and Advanced practitioner (MSK) Biomechanix clinic & NHS Warwickshire References: Hcpc-uk.org. (2018). HCPC - Health and Care Professions Council - Professions. [online] Available at: https://www.hcpc-uk.org/aboutregistration/professions/index.asp?id=3 [Accessed 2 Sep. 2018].

The Role of Podiatry in sport Written October 2018

By Naomi Lovesay Specialist Physiotherapist and Founder SPORTFIT PHYSIO in Cardiff. The wearing of compression garments in sport is rapidly developing although this is frequently on an ad-hoc basis with no protocols for its use. This article discusses the importance of clinical assessment to ensure correct and safe compression is applied for each athlete depending upon the aim of the garment and whether it is to be worn during exercise, recovery or travel to prevent a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), what sport the athlete participates in, the energy system (anaerobic or aerobic) that is predominantly utilised, and the athletes past medical history. If used correctly with clinical supervision there is huge potential to enhance sporting performance, optimise recovery and prevent injury and DVT.  Compression has effectively been used for years to treat people with medical conditions affecting the veins and lymphatic system. In more recent years the use of compression garments has been transferred to the sporting arena; here it has huge potential to enhance sporting performance, optimise recovery and prevent injury and DVT if used correctly. At present, compression in sport is used but it is often on an ad-hoc basis with no protocols for its use. Within the sports performance literature the following benefits of compression garments are documented:-           Increase venous blood flow (Driller, M. 2012)-           More efficient and effective removal of lactic acid (DeGlanville, K. et al, 2012)-           Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness (Doan, B. et al, 2003)-           Reduced swelling (Kraemer, W. et al, 2010)-           Reduced inflammation (Kraemer, W. et al, 2010)-           Reduced risk of injury (Kraemer, W. et al, 2010; Doan, B. et al, 2003)-           Increased proprioception (Kraemer, W. et al, 2010)-           Prevent loss of power following intensive training / competition (DeGlanville, K. et al, 2012)-           Increased oxygen efficiency (Scanlan, A. et al, 2008) These benefits, however, will only be realised if the correct compression garment is worn. Compression garments are available in many styles, in off the shelf (OTS) and custom made formats. The level of compression, or squeeze, applied to the body when such garments are worn is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). Compression garments are available with varying levels of compression. In order for the garments to be effective a graduated compression profile should be present where a higher mmHg is delivered distally than proximally. Unfortunately, although compression garments are widely available, not all compression garments identify the level of mmHg they are providing (https://www.scienceforsport.com/compression-garments/2018) and are not manufactured to deliver graduated compression. As a result incorrect compression could be selected by the athlete and can cause reverse compression whereby the mmHg applied is greater proximally than distally causing the athlete to experience pain, altered neurology, extended recovery time and poor performance (Struhár, I. et al, 2018). Reverse compression can also occur if an incorrectly sized garment is fitted. The use of sports compression garments requires completion of a clinical assessment. In order to establish an effective compression treatment plan the first objective is to ascertain the aim of wearing compression and consequently the area of the body to be compressed. It is following this initial stage that the style of garment and level of mmHg should be determined before finally fitting the garment and education regarding when it should be worn to ensure the desired aim is achieved. Understanding how compression works, and the advantages of one style over another, is essential to ensure the correct garment is fitted for each athlete (Lee, B. 2017). Although a clinical assessment may identify an athlete requires compression below the knee for example, below knee compression can be delivered in a number of ways including a below knee sock, calf sleeve, mid-calf sock or below knee sock with additional focused compression. Selecting the correct style for an athlete will maximise the garment effect. Selecting a compression garment that is medically tested, if fitted correctly, should ensure a correct compression profile is achieved. Clinical decisions as to the level of mmHg required will be determined by whether the garment is to be worn during exercise, recovery or travel to prevent a DVT, what sport the athlete participates in, the energy system (anaerobic or aerobic) that is predominantly utilised and the athletes past medical history. An experienced clinician, to assess for and fit compression garments, will take into consideration all of the above and devise a clinically reasoned treatment plan to ensure appropriate and safe compression is delivered. The majority of compression garments currently fitted in sport are OTS, however, the area of the body, style of garment, level of compression required and the athlete’s size and shape will determine whether an OTS garment is appropriate or whether a custom made garment is required. The advantages of a bespoke garment are that a prescribed level of mmHg can be incorporated into the garment, a specific style can be generated and an optimum fit achieved. However, in order to optimise the benefits of a bespoke garment, it is essential a trained clinician designs and completes the specific measurements required. Used correctly, wearing compression garments will optimise an athlete’s recovery allowing them to train harder, for longer, prevent injury and DVT, refine their technique with improved proprioception and consequently enhance their sporting performance. However, if used incorrectly compression garments can have detrimental effects resulting in complications that could harm an athlete’s health (Lim and Davies, 2014) and hinder sporting performance. It is therefore essential that a clinical assessment with a clinician who understands compression is undertaken and a compression treatment plan devised; it is then the potential to enhance sporting performance through the use of compression will be realised. See Naomi's sportsinjuryfix.com profile here for more information.   ReferencesDeGlanville K, and Hamlin M, Positive effect of lower body compression garments on subsequent 40-kM cycling time trial performance. Journal of strength and conditioning research2012:26(2):480-486.Doan B, Kwon Y, Newton R, et al. Evaluation of a lower-body compression garment. Journal of sport sciences2003:21(8):601-610.Driller, M. and Halson, S. The effects of wearing lower body compression garments during a cycling performance test. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 2012:8(3):300-306.Kraemer W, Flanagan S, Comstock B, et al. Effects of a whole body compression garment on markers of recovery after a heavy resistance workout in men and women. Journal of strength and conditioning research2010:24(3):804-814.Lee, B. What's The Science Behind Compression Tights Helping You Run? https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2017/06/03/whats-the-science-behind-compression-tights-helping-you-run/#79a4a754cca02017: cited 22ndJuly 2018Lim, C. and Davies, A. Graduated compression stockings. CMAJ 2014: 186(10) 391-398.Scanlan A, Dascombe B, Reaburn P, et al. The effects of wearing lower-body compression garments during cycling. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance2008:3(4):424-438.https://www.scienceforsport.com/compression-garments/cited 22ndJuly 2018Struhár, I. Kumstát, M. Králová, D. Effect of Compression Garments on Physiological Responses After Uphill Running. Journal of Human Kinetics 2018: 61: 119-129   

Compression Garments in Sport - How can they benefit you, and the importance of clinical assessment Written September 2018

What’s the worst injury you’ve had? The worst injury I've ever had has been a tear in my lateral meniscal cartilage in my right knee. It stems from an old american football injury and I had surgery in 2009 and 2016 on the same knee. It flared up again after a fall in the mountains in 2016, but only became a proper issue a few months later at the European 24hr Champs. The worst injury during a race has been chaffing, so I'm lucky like that. I'm pretty strong for a long distance runner so I think that helps.Physically I had surgery and then three months off. I work really closely with Sarah Tunstall in Chamonix, a friend and physio who helped me build a stronger core during the time off and then strengthen and ease back into my running. Working with an excellent physio like Sarah really helped me ease back into running. How did you recover physically and mentally? It was was a bit boost mentally to be working on weaknesses and not feel like I was just waiting for an injury to heal. I like to have a plan and Sarah helped me with that. We knew what we were aiming towards and as a high level mountain runner herself, Sarah knew the thought processes I would be going through, that I'd be itching to get back into running and might rush it a little. What are your thoughts on Sportsinjuryfix.com? Sportsinjuryfix.com, a search engine for local experts is a great idea. I've always just asked on twitter etc. There is so much self-diagnosis and random people diagnosis on the internet. I am often telling people to seek help from a specialist when they ask me about injuries. I know my areas of knowledge. I'll definitley be making sure to let the athletes I work with know about sportsinjuryfix.com and others that ask. I often get stuck as my contacts are mainly SE based so when I coach an athlete elsewhere I am unable to recommend someone. What are your top tips for staying injury free for ultras? See a physio or sports therapist on a regular basis. Prehab is better than rehab and a physio can help spot imbalances and weaknesses before they become a problem. Don't neglect things like core work, strength & conditioning, stretching, drills and a bit of foam rolling. All this little things keep you healthy in the long term. Also don't rush back after races. Your body and mind need a rest after an ultra and rushing back too quickly is a sure fire route onto the injury table. Any further tips? You don't have to run 100s & 100s of miles to be an ultra runner. Find out what works for you and understand that we all have different limits, normally down to the lifestyle we lead, genetics and a bit of luck. Run fast every now and again, it's good for you and will keep the injuries away if done correctly. Find your nearest running injury specialist at sportsinjuryfix.com        

Team GB Ultra Marathon Runner Robbie Britton's tips for staying injury free Written September 2018

Team GB Ultra runner Dan Lawson recently ran 90 miles a day for seven days trying to break Andi Rivett's 2002 John O'Groats to Lands End running record. Dan's support team reached out to SportsInjuryFix.com after the first couple of days to help with sports massages and the fantastic Rob Mather in Preston, Heather Smith in Shrewsbury, Bryony Lynes in Bristol and John Stangroom in Okehampton all stepped forward to help Dan with end of day evening massages. Dan sadly had to stop on the eighth day but it was an incredibly impressive effort. Sports Injury Fix caught up with him to get a few tips for us mere mortals. How do you train to run 90 miles a day for several days in a row? The training wasn’t that specific the whole Jogle attempt was kinda squeezed in where I had a bit of space so we only decided to do it four weeks before. I kinda had to tell myself that I’d been training for this for the last six years. Running 100 + miles a week every week for all those years.  How do you stay injury free? I’m lucky I think about injury , I believe the more you run the better your body gets at running; more efficient lighter on the feet etc. I also do a lot of yoga and I think that helps. I don’t run too fast, I do lots of easy miles which is more gentle on the body.  What’s the worst injury you’ve had? I've never really had a bad injury just a bit of tendinitis every now and again but the longest I’ve had to take off running in the last six years is probably only ten days. Sportsinjuryfix.com looks great though. How did you recover both physically and mentally? Physically I think you recover pretty well, just a bit of rest including active rest. I think it’s important to keep moving such as hiking, swimming etc and a few small runs that help to iron out the niggles as well as a lot of yoga. Mentally can take much longer. Any tips for us mere mortals? Probably to make sure you enjoy your running , if you're not feeling it then don’t run do something else it should not be a chore , enjoy the journey of each run not just the finish.   Find your nearest running injury specialist at sportsinjuryfix.com    

How to stay injury free ultra running: Tips from Team GB Ultra runner Dan Lawson Written September 2018

We’re excited to announce a new addition to the team, Mike James.  Mike has over 20 years experience helping novices through to elite athletes prevent and recover from injury.  He is a qualified Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Sports Therapist, Sports Scientist, Strength Coach and former military Physical Training Instructor.  Mike competes too, having complete an eye watering 100+ marathons, 14 Ironman triathlons, one double and even one triple Ironman triathlon plus a solo channel swim. As such Mike is incredibly experienced, has an unbelievable amount of knowledge and experience to share and he is a great addition to the Sports Injury Fix team. “When I first heard about Sports Injury Fix I thought it was a great idea and working with them over the course of the last year on various events and articles confirmed this. I’m a great believer too that it’s about finding the right person not profession. Bringing the fragmented rehabilitation market together and making it easier for people to find the right person that specialises in their sport and/or injury is brilliant. Their attitude about helping therapists with marketing, win new business and learn from each other is great. The upcoming online booking system and customer notes will massively reduce their admin burden too.” The timing of Mike’s arrival is perfect. Following requests by therapists we’ve spent a year working with them to develop an online booking system and a simple GDPR compliant cloud based customer notes system. It’s been led by the talented James Edgeworth and is being beta tested so it’s exciting times.    Mike's arrival as part of the managment team complelements the business and technical knowledge, skills and experience of existing directors James Edgeworth and Malcolm Sloan. It creates an exicitng combination to be able to drive Sports Injury Fix forward and help both frustrated injuured people and therapists alike. If you want to know more about any of this then please do get in touch info@sportsinjuryfix.com, Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram.

Exciting new addition takes Sports Injury Fix to another level Written September 2018

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff was a book by Richard Carlson published in 1997 with quotes such as “will this matter a year from now” and if not then why worry? It was a wildly popular book and for good reason as it had, and still does contain, some really valuable points about how to prioritise. As with everything things get polarised and it’s often taken to mean ignore the small stuff. This can work well and allows you to truly focus on the big things that matter but the trouble with ignoring the small stuff is that it can come back and bite you in a way that makes it big…. For example, it took 20 years to get the Hubble telescope into space but because a mirror in the optical system had been polished to slightly the wrong shape, being too flat by 2,200 nanometers (that’s REALLY small), it caused three years of poor images and cost a lot of money to fix. What’s this got to do with sports injuries? Well, on a more personal note I’ve been commuting on a Brompton fold up bike for the last 18 months with all the benefits of extra exercise, hopping on and off trains, no traffic jams, no sweaty buses/tubes etc. Sure, it’s a bit lower to the ground and occasionally I clipped a pedal taking a corner too tight, but I never thought much of it. That was until I took a corner a bit too tight, the pedal clipped the ground that much harder and the next thing you know I’m on the floor with a rather sore hip. Not sweating the small stuff, I dusted myself down, poked and prodded and thought I was just a bit bruised, the bike was fine too so I headed off to work. Three weeks of hobbling around later I’m told I’ve got three hairline fractures in my hip, I should not have been walking on it, and told in no uncertain terms to rest. So, what’s the point of this blog? It certainly reminded me that whilst not sweating the small stuff is a good thing, ignoring it is not.  In every sport and activity there is always something that gets ignored like niggles or thinking that as long as I get the miles/reps/time in it will all be ok, forgetting about gradual load increase etc.  When did a few extra miles, a few extra reps, a few extra minutes ever hurt anyone? Now might be a good time to reflect, be honest and see what else is being ignored. Malcolm Sloan Injured? Search sportsinjuryfix.com today to get help from someone that specialises in your sport and/or injury.

Don't sweat the small stuff, but don't ignore it Written August 2018

Geraint Thomas, Tour De France winner 2018, what an achievement and a result of years of hard work.  Following two gold medals in the team pursuit in the Olympics for Team GB, the second in 2012, Thomas switched full time to the road.  He did not have it easy though, and when you see the injury frustration he has suffered it is testament to him that each time he has come back stronger and makes his success all the more impressive.   2013 - Tour De France - Thomas broke his pelvis on the first stage but finished the tour and helped Chris Froome win.  2015 - Tour De France - Thomas crashed and fractured a rib on stage one. Completed the tour and finished 15th. 2016 - Rio Olympics - Thomas crashed in the road race and lost touch with the lead group. Despite his cuts and bruises he finished 9th in the time trail a few days later.  2017 - Giro d’Italia  - Thomas started as joint leader with Mikel Landa at Team Sky but nasty crash on stage nine and a dislocated shoulder meant he eventually retired from the race through his injuries. This did not stop him finishing second in the time trail on stage ten. 2017 - Tour De France - A crash on stage nine and a broken collarbone forced Thomas to abandon the race.   It really does show that injuries should not be a barrier to progress and success. Work hard on the rehabilitation and you can and will come back stronger. Find your nearest cycling injury specialist at sportsinjuryfix.com

Cycling Injuries, Comebacks and Tour De France Success Written August 2018

For those, that don't know you, who is Gemma Hallett?   Gemma is a former international rugby player with 35 Wales caps. She is now retired form playing and is a tech entrepreneur launching miFuture app; a better way of connecting young people to careers.  What injuries did you experience playing international rugby? Ha it's a pretty extensive list; torn ankle ligaments, ruptured achillies, spiral fracture in shin, medial ligament rupture, Dead leg, protruding disk bulge in lower back, popped ribs, AC strain and drop, elbow dislocation, dislocated thumb, torn thumb ligaments, dislocated and broken fingers, split eye, torn ear, and concussion. How easy did you find it to find good treatment? Outside of the International set up it's difficult, especially trying to find good quality treatment that understands the effects of sport on the body and how to best manage it. I once went for a sports massage and it was the softest and fluffyest masage ever... I needed someone to get right in there and manipulate and release trigger spots- it's not easy to find these specialists. What are your top tips for staying injury free or recovering quickly? Do not play with niggles, respect and listen to your body. Far too many players feel pressured to take the field. Many of my injuries have been recurring, and could have been avoided if i'd given myself time to recover properly. How did you deal with the mental side of injuries? It's tough, especially when missing big games or a crucial time in the season. I needed to surround myself with positive people and take stock, people miss world cup fixtures, cup finals and even after retire from injury all the time. Injuries don't define you- the come back does. We have to accept that it happens and is part of sport, it was a good time to prepare and strengthen my understanding, spend time on nutrition and work on areas i'd previously neglected to come back a more rounded and better prepared athlete. Are you still playing rugby? No i'm retired now concentrating on running and growing miFuture App What are your thoughts on Sports Injury Fix? I really like the concept, lots of club players and casual participants often don't know who to turn to and mostly don't realise there are specialists in your local areas that you can access, this is perfect, I love the reviews too and it is so easy to use.  Search for your nearest rugby injury specialist now at sportsinjuryfix.com

Rugby Injury Tips from ex Welsh Rugby International Gemma Hallett Written July 2018

At Sports Injury Fix we want to help as many people as we can find the right treatment and advice, and reduce their frustration of injury. Part of that is publicising sportsinjuryfix.com. It's lovely when you get Royal approval of what you are doing..........

Royal approval of Sportsinjuryfix.com Written July 2018

Sportsinjuryfix.com Director Mike James is a 14-time Ironman (IM) finisher who has also completed multiple Double IM races as well as a specialist endurance Physiotherapist who has competed and treated novice to elite athletes worldwide. Widely known as “The Endurance Physio” he specialises in teaching athletes, coaches and therapists involved in endurance sports to optimise performance, reduce injury risk and maximise rehabilitation.  In my previous blog, I discussed some of the major factors that need to be considered when training for an IM event. But sometimes, 8-17 hours of gruelling swim, bike and run still isn’t enough to satisfy the hunger of many endurance athletes. Recent years have seen a growth in popularity and availability in ultra-triathlon races. Many race distances can now become the next challenge for the triathlete, these distances can range from any distance further than a standard IM and range right up to the ultimate “Deca” distance, yes, that’s right – 10 x IM!.  The most popular step-up appears to be the Double IM – a 4.8-mile swim, 224-mile bike and 52.4 mile run. All ultra IM distance events follow the traditional swim/bike/run format and the clock starts on your first stroke and ceases as you cross the line on your run. They are generally competed over much smaller, looped circuits for safety and race management reasons, and often form part of weekend-long festivals of multi-sport that incorporate other race distance events. Having completed multiple ultra-distance triathlons, I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences on the intricacies of stepping up from an Ironman to a double ironman. It’s not just a case of training more or training longer……….  Training Its probably pertinent at this stage to state the obvious……. training for a double IM doesn’t involve double the training of an Ironman event. Yes, there should be certain progressions in distance and time included in the regime, however, its more about being clever and fine-tuning sessions to factor in the specific demands of the double IM distance. For example, a double will involve anywhere from 20-35 hours of continuous exercise. This involves being able to perform through a 24-hour period involving changes in temperature, day versus night and in diminishing states of energy supply and increasing levels of fatigue and tiredness. Training should involve sessions that are performed through the night, early morning, mid-afternoon and should be performed when tired, dehydrated, cold and hungry, as well as in more optimum states of alertness and energy supply. Factor into this as well the need to perform sessions in different clothing for varying temperatures at varying times of day, and the use of lights and other equipment specific to safety and performance at different times of the day. There is no magic formula here but try to predict how the race will unfold by researching previous years conditions, results and the planned course profile and forecast. I always find planning multiple sessions over condensed periods a very easy and successful way to accumulate significant mileage/time with as much emphasis on injury prevention as possible. I will often plan to do multiple runs over a 24-36-hour period to achieve a 40-mile weekend, rather than a one-off long-distance run. I will include a long swim late in the afternoon or evening with a 5-7-hour ride in the very early hours to complement the swim. I will, of course, structure my training to also include sessions in isolation performed at optimal periods of rest and recovery as per any training regime to try to achieve the optimum from the session, but its imperative to train and rehearse situations physiologically as well as psychologically. Think outside the box regarding logistics of sessions, is it possible to cycle 30 + miles to work via an extended route and then run home 10 miles? As regular people with family commitments and jobs, it is almost impossible to get in the hours you may think you need to, don’t see this as a negative, in fact, its probably a good protection strategy to avoid overtraining, it may not seem like you could overtrain for such a long event, but its easily done, and I’ve seen it numerous times. Feeding/ Hydration I think most of us are aware these days of the importance of hydration. Much evidence is readily available on the rates of macronutrient supply required to continue exercising for extended periods. The main consideration here should be variety and availability. Many of us will find it difficult to perform an event like this fuelling exclusively on gels, bars, and liquids. I always find that as the dark hours set in, I crave hot, warm food and always seek savoury food at these times. Whether just a novel change for the palate to enjoy or as a means of specific nutrition, plan and have many options available. I always prepare some pasta or Bolognese dishes that can be heated (most events of this duration will have facilities for support teams to prepare hot food). I also pack my nutrition box with things such as pasties, pot noodles and other things that may appeal at some point. It’s better to bring it home unused than to need something and have to worry about sourcing it at the time. Continue to pack the gels, sweet treats and any other things you usually use as well, but maybe have a range of flavours to break the monotony. Pick the brains of others When I entered my first Double IM, my first port of call was to contact a fellow club member who had previously completed the event. His inside knowledge was invaluable in my preparation! I used his positive and negative experiences as a template to shape my plans. It does not matter if their plans and aims differ from yours, the help is essential. Of course, sometimes there may not be a previous race or you choose to go on a journey of discovery unaided, this does not mean you will not achieve everything you set out to. The endurance community is an extremely friendly and helpful place, so tap into that knowledge via forums and social media platforms that make finding that help much more available than in years gone by. Get Strong! Please refer to my first blog for more specific evidence and thoughts on Strength and Conditioning for endurance sports, but suffice to say, I still advise it even in ultra-distance events. A well-planned regime for 12-16 weeks followed by a once weekly maintenance session should help reduce injury risk as the heavy training miles increase. Manage aches and pains Given the length of the training regime and physical demands, it is almost inevitable that you will pick up the odd niggle and ache. My professional and athletic experience suggest that these will not normally be a serious pathology of any kind, but simple musculoskeletal issues easily remedied with rest, recovery and some minor treatment on occasion. If you are worried at any point prior to commencing, or during your training then seek the advice and help of a professional to keep you performing at your best. Many self-help techniques and modalities are available to stave off these aches and pains and investing a small amount of time, effort and money early into your preparation may pay dividends later. Time Management An obvious factor for any endurance athlete. I touched on it earlier when discussing novel training methods. Specifically, here, I wanted to highlight quality over quantity and planning. Try to see what potential obstacles may lie ahead regarding work, travel, family and other commitments. These don’t necessarily become roadblocks and can be used to your advantage when factoring in downtime and recovery, or even to facilitate training. Many years ago I was working overseas in Afghanistan for 4 months prior to a double IM. During this period, I had no access to swim training, and could only cycle on a spin bike. I designed my training to allow me to significantly over train my cycling, to buy me some “credit in the bank”. On my return to the UK, I did not progress my cycling at all, yet performed a much condensed and concentrated swim regime for 3 months prior to the race, at the same time, I was able to progress a much more traditional run regime. It was not the ideal preparation I would have planned, but it allowed me to get to the start line, and successfully finish in the top 6. Pick the right team Anyone competing in an endurance event knows the value of a support team. This is even more essential when competing over such a long time. The benefits of friendly faces, cheering voices and help remain vital, however, I would recommend a couple of extra bits of planning. Firstly, these guys need a race plan too! They will be there for a long period of time and will experience the hunger, fatigue, and tiredness that you will. Maybe design a rota for them to attend or even a shift pattern. I am lucky enough to have the most supportive wife and friends who will always be there to help me, but I have also been lucky enough to be able to call on friends who may live relatively locally to the event location to call in for an hour to add their support. An unexpected friendly face can give you a boost that words cannot describe. Write down a plan regarding feeding strategies, label all your boxes and essentials to allow calmness and efficiency should things not go to plan. When and if you are stressing and flapping, you need calmness and organisation from those around you. A simple task like changing your shoes (your feet may swell, and you may need to change them!) doesn’t need to become a stressful situation. Finally, remember after the race that you will owe these guys big time!! Plan ahead, a party, a present or a small gesture to show your appreciation for their commitment to your cause. After all, the probability is that these will be the same dedicated bunch of friends and family that endured the whole process by your side, Prepare for anything In my IM training blog, I entitled this section “prepare for everything”, and this certainly still applies. However, over the duration of the event ANYTHING can happen from weather to mechanical to emotional changes and you must be ready to face and deal with whatever the situation throws at you. Keep an open mind, stay positive, control the factors you can control and try not to stress the things you cannot. Recover Recover, recover, recover. I cannot overstate the importance of this. Please see my previous blog for details on how I recommend this is done, you cannot ask or expect your boy to adapt to the stress placed on it during these type of events without providing the environment for it to do so. Psychological Preparation A double IM will hurt. You will want to quit many times and you will regularly wonder why you made the decision to undertake such a challenge. This is completely normal and perfectly fine. Use the training and preparation to build confidence and resilience to allow you to deal with these situations as they arise. You will experience many dark moments of self-doubt and pain and you will be tested on every level. Everyone who has ever completed a race of this type has been there. Trust your training and you will succeed. Many great books and online resources are available to help with mental training and preparation, some seek the help of a professional. I have spent time researching all these methods and they often help, but mental preparation though experience remains my primary tactic. Do the hard yards in training and reap the benefits when you need to call on that strength. Take home message: Train wisely –  Yes, you will need to train differently to an IM, but it should still be quality more than quantity, and should still be progressive and periodised. Get strong and stay strong as it appears to be a major factor in reducing injury risk and improving performance. Plan everything – and plan for anything! Psychological more than physiological – The double IM distance and above is a predominantly mental challenge more than physiological. Everyone has the physical capacity to prepare for an event of this nature, can you train the psychological skills required to commit and complete this ultra-event? Remember, the human body and brain is an exceptional machine. We have the ability to make the seemingly impossible, possible. Never say never and shoot for the stars…..you may just hit them!. For further details about Mike and to book an appointment then click here.  Mike also runs bespoke workshops on all aspects of endurance sports, as well as running his flagship, one day course entitled “Optimising Endurance Performance”.

Going Even Longer...... How To Step-up To a Double Ironman Written June 2018

Bearhug Sports are an exciting start-up making top-notch compression and support gear also based in South Wales.  We’ve secured a discount of 20% for Sportsinjuryfix.com members, just use code SIF20 at the checkout at Bearhug Sports. In the words of their Co-Founder Gareth Hobbs "Our unique ‘Bamboo Charcoal’ qualities offer strength and support. The beneficial properties of bamboo charcoal are countless. It has been used for centuries in Asia for its medical and health-promoting powers. Initial tests indicate the bamboo charcoal combination may retain heat better than standard materials." Both Bearhug and sportsinjuryfix.com want to minimise the risk of injury and help people recover quicker so it's a natural fit.   

20% off Bearhug Sports Compression and Support products Written May 2018

Therapist members of Sportsinjuryfix.com now get up to 50% off RockTape. Given the polarised views on Kinesiololgy Tape we asked Daniel Lawrence, RockTape's Education Director, to give his thoughts on whether taping was an active or passive intervention. Is taping a passive or active intervention?  By Daniel Lawrence RockTape Education Director Kinesiology taping (KTape) has been around for some time now and has endured beyond fad status, however,practising it still has the power to divide a room. KTape has its fervent advocates and some credible detractors, in my opinion both sides make some valid arguments but all too often both sides succumb to the comforting opinions of social media ‘confirmation bias’ groups. That is to suggest we naturally seek and communicate with people who think like us or agree with us – why wouldn’t we! So back to the title question – passive or active? An active intervention is one, which requires the patient to practise a skill or do something health promoting. It doesn’t have to be practising mindfulness would be considered active and a form of self-management. A passive intervention sees the patient merely receiving a treatment such as a massage or manipulation or perhaps receiving a leaflet with some back pain messages and stickman exercises. The exercises are not active until the patient actually does them! So where does tape fit in? Well if you just stick some tape on old Mr Jones Osteoarthritis knee and tell him a recent RCT research paper supports its use for old knees (Anandkumar et al 2014) then send him off until his next appointment then this is clearly ‘passive’ and neglects so many other important treatment and rehabilitation strategies. I always remember hearing a story on a RockTape course of a patient with severe sciatic pain who just received taping on the lower back and no further help, of course, I don’t know the full details of the case but taping in isolation and as a single modality is rarely the best option. This statement would hold true for most modalities.  believe taping should at the very least be a short-term passive intervention that is timed to immediately enhance an active intervention. For example, Low back taping that encourages people to be more active and move their spine through increased ranges of movement, increasing longer-term mobility and reducing movement anxiety. Another example is posture taping of the shoulder girdle to kinaesthetically initiate an improved postural awareness that will hopefully endure as part of a home exercise plan. A passive Launchpad for a more active approach. Self-taping is also an option many therapists teach their patients, specifically of the knee and Achilles tendon. This could encourage an unnecessary reliance on tape… the mythical ‘tape addiction’! On balance, though if this makes the difference between activity participation and non-participation then the overall outcome is positive, assuming the patient shouldn’t be resting – there is always a ying to the yang. Finally, in practise (an NHS GP village clinic for me) I have many positive reports from taping interventions and also some less positive or neutral feedback. The reality is it remains a very versatile intervention that blends in with so many different rehabilitation plans and functional goals. As the RockTape Education director you would expect me to be bias but as a MCSP Physio I am required to consider evidence and best practise and as a ‘coal face’ practitioner I get the real life feedback from the end users. If you’re interested in taping research then the latest  research review by RockTape is here. If you’re looking for a good therapist to provide advice and/or treatment then use sportsinjuryfix.com, a very useful resource which is why we've partnered with them. If you're looking for some application examples then the RockTape You Tube channel has lots of helpful videos. Therapist members of Sportsinjuryfix.com now get up to 50% off RockTape. See the Links & Offers section on your dashboard.   

Is taping a passive or active intervention? Written May 2018

We are very excited to announce our first Sports Injury Fix Conference on 10th June in partnership with the fantastic Hartpury College, Gloucester. This is the first of many, providing engaging and relevant continuing professional development at an affordable price. A full day for just £25 for Sports Injury Fix members and the line up is fantastic. Places will go quickly so BOOK NOW.   Costs: Non-Members of Sports Injury Fix: £30 Members of Sports Injury Fix: £25 Students: £15 Includes certificate of attendance, lunch and refreshments. It’s free to become a member of Sports Injury Fix, join here. Places will go quickly so BOOK NOW.

Sports Injury Fix Conference with Hartpury College Written May 2018

Over three quarters of our allocated complimentary tickets for COPA and the Elite Sports Performance & Rehabilitation Expo have now gone. Make sure you register today and secure your FREE pass to Europe’s leading event for Sports Therapists, which will be returning to the ExCeL in London on the 9th & 10th May. Here’s six reasons why you should join us at these unmissable shows: • Seminars – over 12 hours of completely CPD accredited, expert led seminars. You can choose from 180 seminars across the two shows, delivering the latest from the world of sports rehab. • You can try, test and discover the next generation technology that will pave the way for the future of sports therapy. • Exclusive offers and the opportunity to compare products and equipment from over 300 leading suppliers. • Free access to masterclasses, run by industry leaders including Rock Tape, Desmotec, and DJO Global • Unrivalled industry networking • Meet Sportsinjuryfix.com and get free referrals This is the event to find everything you need to help your clients recover faster, rehab effectively, and prevent injury. Everything you need to grow your sports therapy practice and develop your professional knowledge will be running under one roof, over two days. Register today for your free COPA or Elite Sports Expo ticket.    Come and say hello. Hope to see you there, Malcolm Sloan   LINKS COPA: https://bit.ly/2p65An6 Elite Sports Expo: https://bit.ly/2p8J1Pm Sportsinjuryfix.com   For Exhibiting & Sponsorship Opportunities James Berryman - Event Director (+44) 01872 218007 – james.berryman@prysmgroup.co.uk   For Marketing & Press Laura Sansegundo – Marketing Executive (+44) 0117 990 2096 – laura.sansegundo@prysmgroup.co.uk      

12 hours free CPD at COPA and the Elite Sports Performance & Rehabilitation Expo Written April 2018

Earlier in the year Jane Gibson told us an inspirational tale of how she took up running at 46 and now was aiming to complete the big 6 marathons aged 74.  We’re delighted to confirm she succeeded in Boston despite the conditions: “Well the final six star marathon medal proved very hard to achieve. We had been told about the hills, the short time frame and the final heartbreak hill.  However none of these we noticed as due to the appalling weather we could hardly see in front of us.  Freezing rain all day, 6 elite dropped out as well as over 1000 other runners and 80 admitted to hospital. Well the final six star marathon medal proved very hard to achieve.  We had been told about the hills, the short time frame and the final heartbreak hill.  However none of these we noticed as due to the appalling weather we could hardly see in front of us.  Freezing rain all day, 6 elite dropped out as well as over 1000 other runners and 80 admitted to hospital.”  Help keep running whatever your age by finding the right treatment for prevention or recovery at sportsinjuryfix.com  

Completing the big six in your seventies Written April 2018

Sportsinjuryfix.com director Mike James is a multiple Ironman and Double Ironman finisher who has competed and treated novice to elite athletes worldwide. Widely known as “The Endurance Physio” he specialises in teaching athletes, coaches and therapists involved in endurance sports to optimise performance, reduce injury risk and maximise rehabilitation.  The growth of triathlon over the last 20-40 years has been quite remarkable. Worldwide, on a seemingly daily basis, races and events continue to expand, training and technological information constantly allows athletes to learn more about the sport and athletes, new and old, of all abilities hit the pools, lakes, roads and paths determined to achieve the next race finish, personal best or goal. In a sport laden with personal challenges and hurdles, the once almost mythical Ironman (IM) Distance remains the ultimate challenge for many. Whether winning world championships or merely crossing the line and collecting the fabled “M Dot”, the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2 mile run race is the pinnacle of many athlete’s journeys. The sheer nature and demands of the event (all triathlon events in fact!), contribute to a high incidence of injury. In a 2013 study of 174 long distance triathletes over a 26-week period, Andersen et al1 found that overuse injury was the prevalent injury amongst iron-distance triathletes. The average prevalence of overuse problem was 56% at any time, with a substantial problem incidence of 20%. The most prevalent sites were the knee (25%), lower leg (23%) and lower back (23%). The acute injury incidence was 0.97 per 1000 hours of training, and 1.02 per 1000 hours of competition. The predominant types of acute injury were contusions, fractures and sprains. Therefore, a total of 87% of the athletes reported some form of overuse problem at some point over the course of the study, with more than half reporting a substantial problem. This supports other studies reporting a high incidence of overuse injury in iron-distance triathletes. 2-4 So, how can we prevent, or more accurately perhaps, reduce the risk of encountering such problems and maximising our chances of getting to the start line and performing to the best of our abilities? These are The Endurance Physios top tips:  Goal Setting  This should be the first thing any IM or budding IM does. Ask yourself, what do I want to achieve? Are you aiming to simply get through the 140.6 miles and cross the finish line? Are you aiming for a specific time and/or PB? Some people are primarily entering the race to raise money/awareness for a charity.  Before any plans can be formulated, you must understand what it is you are planning for. Every aspect of the coming 4-12 months will be determined by your goals. Duration, intensity, the frequency of training, location, climate and course profile of the race may all be driven by timescales and events to do with your goal. Choose the right training regime Arguably the most important and crucial decision that lies ahead. The triathlon world is now saturated with coaches and programmes that are readily available. From the highly popular “one size fits all” named coaching system type regimes to bespoke 1:1 tailored regimes to the popular website/magazine downloadable standard issue regimes, there are a plethora of regimes purporting to get you to your goal. However, if you choose the one that pushes you too hard too soon, based on your current levels or the timescales available, you may increase injury risk and fail to make the start line! Choose the regime that doesn’t push you enough and that PB, podium finish, age-group qualification may never materialise. If possible, speak to an established coach with a high success rate of IM finishers and go for the tailored approach. The extra outlay in cost will be more than worth it, especially if it means you don’t lose out on hotel and race fees due to injury or end up paying someone like myself, even more, to get you to the start line!!! If you do use a “cut and paste” type regime, check that it progresses load appropriately. Gabbett et al 5 outline the risk of injury via an excellent (and easy to use) calculation of acute (1 week) versus chronic (last 4 weeks) workload. The same author also states that it isn’t necessarily the amount of workload that you do that determines injury, more so, it's about how you get to that workload via progression that may be the biggest factor leading to injury. Prepare for the training regime I see a lot of IM athletes who pick up niggles and injuries by simply failing to prepare for a regime. They choose their race, choose a training regime and jump straight into it. Unfortunately, for many, there is a gap between our current ability and the level needed even to commence a 20-24-week IM regime. Plan backwards and add 6-12 weeks as needed prior to commencing the regime building a sufficient base level of fitness, technique, and strength in preparation for the actual training regime.  Get Strong! Recent years have seen an increase in the evidence supporting Strength and Conditioning (S & C) for endurance sports. Research suggests that S & C can reduce overuse injuries by almost 50% (Lauersen et al, 2014).6 Performing 2 sessions in the off season, coupled with a once weekly maintenance session in season appears an effective strategy for endurance athletes. 7 I would argue that EVERY top endurance athlete now undertakes a considerable amount of S & C as part of their regime to assist in helping their bodies adapt and manage high training loads. A general approach, largely able to be performed at home should suffice. If in doubt, seek advice from a professional regarding specific exercises for triathlon.  Manage existing aches and pains Very few IM athletes are lucky enough to avoid the usual niggles associated with such high loads and high-frequency training. Many triathletes I see have dealt with the same recurring niggles for many years. Stepping up to such big distances as IM can be the trigger for exacerbating niggles into larger problems. Seek advice and guidance from a therapist, explaining your plans and work together to address these issues to allow you the best chance of completing the training and race ahead. Time Management For many triathletes, finding the balance between work, family, social and training commitments can be the hardest factor in an IM preparation. Even with the most supportive loved ones and colleagues, it can be difficult to fit everything in and find a balance. Try to plan novel ways to maximise these without detrimentally affecting other aspects. For example, can you use a work commute to train, can you train early in the morning or after the kids are in bed? Can you train with friends and family? Maybe someone would like to join you for part of a run, you could run as the family cycle, you could swim in the pool before the family joins you for a splash? I know athletes that have concocted all sorts of weird and wonderful strategies to maintain the balance. Group holidays where the athletes train in the morning together before enjoying the day on the beach with the families. Ultimately, this, as most aspects are, is a very individual component, sit down and discuss how to manage these things with the people involved. Finding this balance may not directly reduce injury risk, however, those struggling to find a balance are more likely to cram in sessions, overtrain, deviate from plans and limit recovery.  These are factors which can all lead to injury. Plan your season and races The age-old dilemma of what races should I do building up to an IM! I advocate using other races as preparation. How many, how often, how hard to race depends on a number of factors. I generally feel that these should be used as organised training sessions to practice using new kit, feeding strategies, pacing etc and as a break from the monotony of training. Be careful not to become involved in a race with another competitor who undoubtedly has different seasons goals to yourself and deviate from the plan as not only will you lose the purpose of the race, but you will potentially affect subsequent weeks training and/or recovery.   Pick the right team No successful athlete achieves success on their own. Many leading individual athletes these days are surrounded by an entourage of support staff. The endurance world is packed with people who support and encourage each other. Grow a network of therapists, athletes, coaches, friends and loved ones that you can turn to when needed. This includes a race day support team to cheer you on! Prepare for everything  As many leading sports people and coaches now advocate “control the controllables”. Yes, an IM is daunting, and it is difficult to prepare for every eventuality. But use your time to practice training in climates and terrains that reflect the race course if possible. Practice different hydration and feeding strategies and kit.  Be consistent, but flexible Consistency is the key to endurance sports success. Those big, hard sessions and miles are needed to put credit in the bank if you expect to cash them in on race day. Stick to your plans, commit to the regime. However, life gets in the way sometimes and other commitments and/or injuries can sidetrack you from time to time. Don’t chase the sessions you miss, don’t cram extra miles or speed into follow up sessions. If you are training correctly 80% of the time, then you will almost certainly achieve your goals. It is better to line up at the start line, slightly “undercooked” than “overcooked”. Injuries and the potential for injury will be far greater if you lack the ability to listen to the body and use a sprinkling of common sense. Recover In all my years of competing, treating and coaching athletes this is the single biggest factor that is neglected and ultimately leads to injury. It is the fine balance between stressing the body and allowing it to recover that maximises performance and minimises fatigue and injury risk. Everybody is committed to training like a “pro” but we need to be equally committed to recovering like a “pro” as well! A structured training regime will factor in recovery weeks and blocks of periodised training to allow recovery. Many methods both scientific and more anecdotal are available to monitor fatigue both in the short and longer term. Seek the advice of an expert on finding out about these.  Eat well, sleep well, hydrate and enjoy downtime with friends and family – you will be earning it. Much debate exists regarding the effectiveness of tools such as foam rollers/trigger point devices, tapes, massage, compression clothing, cryotherapy and heat, and yes there will always be a large placebo effect to consider. But as long as you are training, strengthening and recovering well, then these tools can help get you to the start line. I regularly see many athletes in training for a “check-up”, some soft tissue work and other modalities to help them recover and relax in preparation for the next phase of training. Seek the advice of a professional regarding what may work for you. Remember – train hard, recover harder! Take home messages: 1) Train wisely – increase load on the body gradually. Factor in enough recovery – this is where we improve! Quality trumps quantity every time.2) Get strong and stay strong as it appears to be the biggest factor we can actively affect in reducing injury risk and improving performance.3) Plan everything – the 5 P’s (Prior Planning Prevents  Poor Performance!).4) Be consistent, but flexible. – anyone who achieved anything remarkable did it through consistency. Be the Bamboo! – be committed and stick to your regime / plans, but always be prepared to bend a little if needed but get back on the plan as soon as possible! And remember……… whatever your goal, whatever your level, however many IM you have completed……enjoy it, it’s fun!   For further details about Mike and to book an appointment go to https://www.sportsinjuryfix.com/business/profile/the-endurance-physio. Mike also runs bespoke workshops on all aspects of endurance sports, as well as running his flagship, one day course entitled “Optimising Endurance Performance”.   1 Andersen CA, et al. (2013). High prevalence of overuse injury among iron-distance triathletes  Br J Sports Med; 47:856–860.2 Egermann M, et al. (2003). Analysis of injuries in long-distance triathletes. Int J Sports Med; 24:271–6.3 Burns J, et al. (2003). Factors associated with triathlon-related overuse injuries. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther ;33:177–84.4 Vleck VE, et al. (2010). Triathlon event distance specialization: training and injury effects. J Strength Cond Res; 24:30–6.5 Gabbett TJ, et al. (2016). The acute: chronic workload ratio predicts injury: high chronic workload may decrease injury risk in elite rugby league players. Br J Sports Med; 50:231-236.6 Lauersen JB, et al. (2014). The effectiveness of exercise interventions to prevent sports injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Sports Med; 48:871–877.7 Karsten, B., et al. (2016). The Effects of a Sport-Specific Maximal Strength and Conditioning Training on Critical Velocity, Anaerobic Running Distance, and 5-km Race Performance. Int J of Sp Phys and Perf ;1, 80 -8.  

How To Prevent Injury During Ironman Training Written March 2018

We're excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the Elite Sports Expo and COPA Series for 2018 and have secured a limited number of free COPA and Elite Sports tickets for our members. The shows will run over the 9th & 10th May, at the ExCeL in London There will be over 180, fully CPD accredited seminars running across COPA and the Elite Sports Expo, from the likes of: Ian Gatt, Lead Physio for GB Boxing; Dr Amir Pakravan, Consultant Specialist in Sports & Exercise Medicine for the European College of Sport and Exercise Physicians; Carl Todd, Consultant Osteo for Chelsea FC and the FA, and many more covering new treatment methods, practice growth advice, and cool new stuff from the world of sports rehab. We will have a stand at the show, alongside 300 innovative suppliers who will be giving you the chance to try, test and discover the latest technology, which will shape the future of sports therapy. You will also have your chance to get your hands on exclusive deals and UK product launches from some of the leading sports rehab companies from around the world.  This is the must-attend event for any sports therapist. With 180 seminars, 300 world-class exhibitors, live demos, masterclasses, and unrivaled networking opportunities, make sure you activate your FREE TICKET and come and see us on stand #2148 at the show.   Kind regards Malcolm Sloan   For Exhibiting & Sponsorship Opportunities James Berryman - Event Director (+44) 01872 218007 – james.berryman@prysmgroup.co.uk   For Marketing & Press Kelynn Renals – Marketing Executive   (+44) 0117 990 2096 – Kelynn.renals@prysmgroup.co.uk

Elite Sports Expo and Copa Series 2018 Written March 2018

My problems started in summer 2003. Some months after completing the London marathon I sprained my ankle. To cut a long story short, my partner at the time was a Physio and taped my leg. From that moment, I experienced IT band syndrome. I had it for 13 years in total but after 12 months, I gave up hope that it would ever go away. At the time I saw so many people in an attempt to put it right but nothing seemed to work. I resigned myself to the fact that I would never run again.  Last Ditch Attempt 13 years on, a new relationship with an ultra runner and a wish for us to run together saw me being recommended a different Physio. I admit I went reluctantly. I didn't really have faith that anyone knew what to do. However, after several appointments with Lou at Cornwall Physio, and being the best patient I'd ever been, I could run for longer but the ITBS kept flaring up. It was at this point that Lou uttered the words, "I think you have sciatica." I almost baulked at the thought and seriously doubted her diagnosis. I didn't have any sciatic pain in my lower back and my discomfort remained on my outer knee. I went with it though as so far her advice had led to improvements. What she suggested was quite simple: find some yoga for runners on YouTube and do it regularly. I admit, I chose the shortest YouTube clip I could find. I've enjoyed yoga in the past but I know how busy my life is. Short is good. I didn't run for 2 weeks and completed the 25-minute yoga sequence religiously every other day. I then went for a run. For the first time in 13 years, I ran pain-free for about an hour. I couldn't quite believe it. Keeping The Sciatica At Bay Since then I have found a love for trail running and have completed lengthy trail races and a marathon. This year, I've entered my first ultra marathon. My confidence has blossomed and my running is better than I thought it ever would be. Now I know what the issue is, I have to accommodate the possibility of sciatica into my training. I've noticed if I give up the yoga, it usually returns at some point. I've noticed my sciatica/ITBS flares up when my mileage increases and I'm really pushing myself. Driving doesn't help either, and I do spend le periods in my car. Lou said having my car seat in an upright position is best so I now drive around like a granny with my nose almost touching the windscreen! I've learnt if I want to continue running I have to keep my back healthy and stretch it out. I've also learnt that finding the right Physio, and trusting their advice, goes a long way. On the back of this experience, I recommend Lou to others on a regular basis and I have returned to her with other associated niggles. More recently, my sciatica has returned. While it improved with yoga, I remember Lou saying that working my core would help considerably. I've just started focussing on this, opting for HIIT workouts which I can do at home. I'm in the process of completing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, and it's more challenging than I thought it would be. The good news is after about 4 sessions of HIIT it dawned on me that I hadn't had any sciatic pain for what felt like quite a while. I'm keeping it up and am quite enjoying doing something new. A Little Learning Curve I've learnt a lot about my running and where my vulnerabilities lie from seeing Lou at Cornwall Physio. Of course, I've learnt about my specific injury which weirdly started as one thing but ended up as something else (although it's all linked really). I think what I've taken away is this: if I can manage and overcome this injury, I feel there's hope for others. I went to see a Physio with little hope or belief that it would work, but it did.   Completing my first race after being discharged was the best feeling. My confidence soared knowing that I'd been put back together; I could run without pre-empting or expecting pain. And who doesn't want that? Penny    To find your nearest running injury specialist then search sportsinjuryfix.com here   To read more about Penny's comeback from injury then go to - pennyslane.co.uk  

How Physiotherapy Helped Me Run After 13 Years of Pain - Guest Blog By Penny Bedford Written March 2018

 I was never a sporty child or adult despite being a physiotherapist. I played bad tennis and badminton and looked after the family while my husband ran and played rugby. I started running gently myself to get fit for a long distance walk when I was 45. When I was 55 I ran the London Marathon and presumed that was my Everest and stopped. I was wrong. I am now 74 and over the last 6 years, after my husband retired late from playing rugby, we have run 12 marathons all over the world. This year we complete the 6 Majors by running Boston. Our friends and family think we are crazy but we have much fun on our long weekends out of country taking in museums, operas, concerts and then on a Sunday a whole city closes down for us to see the sights as we run. Dublin 2017 We clock up reasonable times between 5.30 and 5.45 and sometimes I am ahead and sometimes my husband. I even won a prize at the Rome marathon for being the first woman over 70 over the line. How do we do it? We have always kept fit and slim by walking and not eating too much. As one grows older we all lose muscle fibre, flexibility, balance and our joints may start to wear out. It is possible to slow this process by performing specific muscle strengthening exercises at home or in the gym and by walking rather than driving and using stairs rather than a lift. Flexibility, balance and core strength can be aided by Pilates type exercises. Those youngsters in the gym may be building big muscles but you are just trying not to lose yours. If you do not like the gym, stretchy bands and weights can be used at home. I advocate using the urban gym which is free. Always walk fast, walk up and down escalators, use the benches and rails in your local park for press ups and stand ups. Always walk short distances rather than wait for a bus if you have time. Dancing, cycling, tennis, badminton, bowls, golf etc can all be carried on for as long as we like. Starting Check with your doctor before you start. Begin with short distances. Walk with your new running shoes, suitable clothing, no bags and with your head held high. Think of your posture, head up, shoulders back and down, tummy in and off you go. Next walk for 10 steps then jog for ten steps for about 15 mins. As this becomes easier increase the number of jogs and the length of time. If you do not like going out on your own find a local running club and you will soon be ready to try the excellent Park Runs. Tokyo 2017 How to prevent injuries It is important not to over-do it as we get older. Once you are up and running consider going faster and spending less time on your feet to keep off the joints. I only run 3 times a week. Do not stint on good shoes and always listen to your body when you have an injury. Small sprains and strains will usually respond to rest. Simple measures such as ice, bandage, pain killers and elevation can be done at home. More serious injuries of course should be taken to your doctor. The older we are, the more prone we are to tripping on uneven pavements and tree roots. Avoidance of running in the dark is a good idea. Never stretch cold muscles as you might see people do. The end of the run is the time to stretch then have a cool bath or shower. Marathon preparation We start to increase our running 14 weeks before a marathon. We will follow a programme and slowly increase our running distance each week until we have done 20 miles then taper off for a couple of weeks before the race. We think it quite normal to mix with 30,000 runners and we get plenty of cheers along the way. Get out there, enjoy yourselves; old age is much more enjoyable when you are fit. Jane Gibson  Find a running injury specialist to help stay injury free at sportsinjuryfix.com  

Running Marathons in your Seventies – it’s never too late Written February 2018

Mae bod wedi'ch anafu yn adeg rwystredig iawn, ac mae dod o hyd i'r person iawn i fwyhau'ch siawns o adferiad a'ch helpu i osgoi anaf yn bwysig iawn. Mae sportsinjuryfix.com yn caniatau ichi chwilio'r farchnad yn un lle a hyd yn oed chwilio am y rheini sy'n arbenigo yn eich camp neu anafiadau cysylltiedig. Nid oes angen dweud ei fod yn anhygoel o boblogaidd ac yn tyfu'n gyflym. Rydym yn gweithio yn ne Cymru ac u n ceisio dysgu Cymraeg felly byddwc h yn garedi os nad yw ein Cymraeg yn berffaith.   

Rhwystredigaeth Anafiadau Written February 2018

There is a World Cup happening in Manchester right now for one of the fastest growing sports in the world, Roller Derby. We caught up with one of Scotland's star players Shorty McLightning Pants, and yes nicknames are a feature of Roller Derby. Photo Credit: Anja Wettergren    Who is Shorty McLightning Pants?  My name is Zoe aka ‘Shorty McLightning Pants’ and I proudly skate for Team Scotland Roller Derby. This weekend is one of the biggest tournaments in the Roller derby calendar. It is the Roller Derby World Cup in Manchester where 38 women’s teams will fight it out to lift the trophy. I am super excited to represent my country at this amazing sporting event. This is the first time the world cup has been held outside the USA. It’s a big deal!    What is Roller Derby?  Roller Derby is a full-contact sport on wheels, played on a flat oval track. A team can consist of up to 14 players but on 5 on the track in any one jam. 1 jammer and 4 blockers.    Here is an excellent breakdown of game play from the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association. https://youtu.be/OId6gTd2LCM Photo Credit: Paul Jones    It’s really dangerous right?  WRONG. Yes, we do hit each other at speed with full body, shoulder and hip checks but it is not a free for all. Each skater has to demonstrate high levels of athleticism, strategy and teamwork in order to win games. There is a strict rule set, legal target zones and a minimum crew of 18 officials who keep it calm and under control.    How do you avoid injury? One of the best ways to prevent injury is fitness. Almost every skater I know supplements their on- skates training by hitting the gym at least once a week. The fitter you are, the less tired you are on track. Being aware means that you will make good choices on track. You won’t go in for a sloppy reckless hit, or if you are on the receiving end it means you are ready for it.    I make sure I spend a good deal of time on my foam roller and use a lacrosse ball to get those knots out. I head to my physio for regular sports massage. When things get really gritty I get some needle work done to release all that tension in my back and hips. Big shout out to the guys at Physio Effect in Glasgow for keeping me right! See their Sports Injury Fix profile here.     Where can I tune in?  Come along and watch in person! https://rollerderbyworldcup.com/ You can watch the Roller Derby World cup live here: https://www.rollerderbyworldcup.com/live/ For the first time it will be featured on the BBC (Sunday only):  https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/42683851

Roller Derby World Cup: Shorty McLightning Pants tells us all about it and how to stay injury free Written February 2018

Having been mobbed all day at the National Running Show with approx 2,000 plus visitors to the stand we found the time to formally interview 166 of them, complemented by hundreds of informal conversations, and the results were starker than we had predicted.   Question 1: How easy is it to find good treatment? 55% said it was hard or very hard to find good sports injury treatment and just 22% said it was easy or very easy.  There was a noticeable trend in that those who found it easy to find good treatment tended to be either a member of a larger running club with a long-established, trusted, relationship with a treatment provider or they worked in a medical profession themselves and were well connected. That it is not easy to find good treatment is one of the founding assumptions on which sportsinjuryfix.com was built and it is our mission to improve this.   Question 2: How many treatment providers did you try before you found a good one? Only 6% said it was very easy to find good treatment and thus it's no surprise that the largest response to this question being that they’d tried a few and 36% were still looking. 74% had tried two or more treatment providers which quickly adds up in terms of time, money and frustration. Regular comments were “they talked in medical terms I didn’t understand”, “I felt like I was paying money for no improvement”, and “I’d see a short-term benefit but by the time of the next treatment it would be the same as it was”.  It was clear there was a desire to connect with the treatment provider and trust that they knew how to provide a solution.  Question 3: How well do you understand the difference between the different professions i.e. physiotherapy, osteopathy, sports therapy etc? There was a fairly consistent spread of answers but by far and away the biggest category was ‘no idea’ with 34%. There tended to be a correlation with comments from those having the greatest understanding disclosing that they work in medically related professions. Next came more experienced runners who had suffered lots with injury and had tried a number of different providers. It tended to be the newer or more casual runners that had no idea of the differences. It is clear that there is work to be done to educate people, particularly less experienced runners on the options available to them when an inevitable injury occurs.  We have tried to work with industry associations to help provide explanations of the differences as listed in our blog section https://www.sportsinjuryfix.com/blog but not all have engaged so far.  Question 4: How important is it that a treatment provider specialises in your sport and/or injury? The answers to these questions were very similar.  There is always a debate as to whether it matters if someone specialises in a sport or injury.  As long as they are trained to a high standard they will be able to help you, regardless of whether they specialise in your sport and/or injury, and if not then the good ones will be honest that they are unable to help provide advice as to who may be better able to help.  This may be true but what was incredibly clear from people is that the majority (over 60%) felt it was very important for a treatment provider to specialise/be very experienced in their sport or injury. The most common comment was “I’m fed up of being told not to run or that running is bad for you”.  Both injury and sports experience/specialism are fields within sportsinjuryfix.com and it highlights the importance of communicating experience in a language that patients understand.  We were at the show providing advice, guidance and treatment  with 14 therapists who are members of Sports Injury Fix covering a range of professions and from the following brilliant companies:   - AM Sports Therapy, Loughborough - Active Podiatry, Kent - Core Clinics, Warwick - Dynamic Osteopaths and Sports Injury and Performance Clinic, Henley in Arden - Ledbury Sports Massage, Ledbury - Star Medical Wilts in conjunction with Hartpury University - The Endurance Physio, Cowbridge, South Wales - Walk Specialist Footcare, Kent - West Berkshire Injury Clinic, Newbury    Chairman of two industry associations, Martin Shaw from Institue of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and Gary Benson from Sports Therapy Association, attended too which provided further opportunity for learning from different professions and providing a great service to attendees of the show.   We'll be back next year so come and say hello! In the meantime please follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix or facebook.    

How easy is it to find good treatment? Lessons from the National Running Show Written January 2018

We were asked to write an article for the latest Podiatry Review that's just been released by the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists on the most frequent winter sports injuries with a focus on skiing and the lower limb.   Winter is coming has been a famous phrase this year and now it’s here it’s estimated that over 1 million of us Brits will go on a winter sports holiday with about 80% skiing, 16% snowboarding and 4% skating, climbing, sledding etc. [1] Sadly injuries are part and parcel of winter sports for a multitude of reasons such as crashes, overuse, lack of fitness, equipment failure or just bad luck. Injuries associated with winter sports affect the whole body but for the purposes of this article we’ll give an overview of the most common but be focussing on those affecting the lower limbs.  We certainly won’t be mentioning the helmet vs non helmet debate.  How frequent are injuries?There are a number of studies of injury rates for skiers and snowboarders with results ranging from 1-6 injuries per thousand skiing days to 2-16 injuries per thousand snowboarding days[2]. For the more adventurous ice climbing only has estimated injury rates of 4 per thousand hours[3].   Over the last ten years sledding has increased in popularity with moonlight sledding being an increasing popular past-time and thus injury rates here have increased too. Indeed one insurance company[4]found their breakdown of claims related to winter sports injuries was as follows: 34% snowboarding 33% skiing21% sledding12% skating So what are the main injuries?The knees are the number one and typically account for around 30%[5]of all winter sports injuries. This is not just because of how much they are used in most winter sports but the number of ways they can be injured. Most people only have one winter holiday a year so it’s an intense amount of exercise on muscles and ligaments in a way they may not be used to.  As such the strains and pains that come from overuse are common but also medial collateral ligament (MCL) or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries account for the majority[6]of knee injuries.  The harder boots used in skiing protect the ankles but give a higher chance of knee injuries.  ACL damage tends to happen when trying to stop falling by squatting with arms out and the weight goes on the inside edge of the downhill ski causing a twisting motion. MCL injuries tend to happen during crashes when an edge is caught and it stresses the medial ligament. Dislocations and knee fractures also occur along with leg fractures although these are less common. With no poles for balance and both feet connected to the board without an automatic release mechanism then for learners a bruised bottom is the most embarrassing injury when learning to snowboard but wrist injuries are the most commonly recorded accounting for over 20%[7]of snowboarding injuries. The impact of landing often causes shoulder problems too. Knee injuries in snowboarders are less common than skiers, accounting for 16% of injuries[8]and most knee injuries tend to happen not whilst snowboarding but from getting on and off ski lifts when one foot is fastened to the board and the other is pushing. Twisting while falling over risks injury to the knees as does the impact from crashing, particularly at speed and on icy ground. The softer boots used in snowboarding are easier to walk in and feel more flexible but offer less protection and as such lead to increased vulnerability to ankle sprains and fractures. 'Snowboarders ankle’ refers to a fracture of the lateral process of the talus due to the fact it is 15 times[9]more likely in snowboarders than the general population.  The lateral process of the talus is above the heel bone on the outerside of the ankle. In sledding then lower leg injuries are very common with knee sprains accounting for 13% of injuries followed by ankle sprains (11.5%), and ankle/leg fractures (9%).[10]Its thought the increase in sledding injuries is down to the rise in its popularity and particularly that of ‘moonlit sledding’ and the potential effects of après ski. It’s estimated that with the rise of winter time temporary ice rinks that at least 4%[11]of the UK population ice skates which is one of the few winter sports that is done predominantly in the UK and not abroad. Skating injuries tend to be focused on the upper body from outstretched arms trying to break a fall. Ankle and knee injuries do still occur but account for just 7%[12]each of total injury numbers and tend to occur from twisting to avoid falling leading to strains and tears. Find your nearest winter sports injury specialist at Sportsinjuyfix.com [1]https://www.globelink.co.uk/news/Globelink-Travel-Insurance-News/winter-sports-injuries-statistics2014[2]Ekeland, Sulheim, and Rodven, "Injury Rates and Injury Types in Alpine Skiing, Telemarking, and Snowboarding," Journal of ASTM International, Vol. 2, No. 5, 2005, pp. 1-9,[3]Schöffl et al. “Injury Risk Evaluation in Water Ice Climbing” Med Sport 13 (4): 210–218, 2009[4]https://www.globelink.co.uk/news/Globelink-Travel-Insurance-News/winter-sports-injuries-statistics2014[5]https://www.ageas.co.uk/intermediaries/news/almost-heads-shoulders-knees-and-toes[6]Jordan et al.  Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing: a narrative review Open Access J Sports Med. 2017; 8: 71–83 Paletta and Warren Knee injuries and Alpine skiing. Treatment and rehabilitation. Sports Med.1994 Jun;17(6):411-23.[7]Kim et. al. Am J Sports Med.2012 Apr;40(4):770-6.[8]Worldwide Insure research 2017 https://www.worldwideinsure.com/travel-blog/2017/01/common-snowboarding-injuries-avoid/[9]Mussman and Poirer J Chiropr Med. 2010 Dec; 9(4): 174–178[10]Corra and Di Giorgi Sledding injuries: is safety in this winter pastime overlooked? A three-year survey in South-Tyrol J Trauma Manag Outcomes. 2007; 1: 5.[11]Barr et al. Int Orthop. 2010 Jun; 34(5): 743–746.[12]US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data - https://product-injuries.healthgrove.com/l/88/Ice-Skating   For similar requests please contact info@sportsinjuryfix.com

What are the most frequent winter sports injuries? Written January 2018

Who are you and where are you based? Amanda Oswald, a leading UK myofascial release specialist and owner of the Pain Care Clinic. Our clinics are located in Harley Street, London, Leeds, and Brighton. We specialise in the treatment of chronic pain conditions using myofascial release, and also run Living Pain Free workshops offering people self-help myofascial stretches, exercises and advice. I'm also the author of Living Pain Free: Healing Chronic Pain with Myofascial Release.   What are the most common sports related injuries you see? We see and treat a whole range of injuries and chronic pain conditions in our clinics, and often our clients turn to us when they have not been able to get the treatment they need from other therapies. Some of the most common sports related conditions we treat include rotator cuff and shoulder injuries such as frozen shoulder; back pain; tendinitis conditions such as tennis elbow or runners knee; hip pain; and plantar fasciitis. We also specialise in the treatment of pain caused by scar tissue, as this responds well to myofascial release.   What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? Stretch! Many of the people we see don’t stretch enough, if at all. And many of them are using short, muscle stretches which have no effect on stuck fascia. As the main connective tissue in the body, fascia wraps around and through everything else including muscles, nerves, blood vessels, bones and organs. When it is working normally, fascia moves freely as we move, however, when fascial restrictions develop, such as sports injuries, this creates a snag in the fascial system which can cause pain that is often referred to elsewhere in the body and can worsen over time if not treated. We therefore teach our clients fascial stretching which is much slower and more progressive than muscle stretches, and therefore has a more lasting benefit. If you regularly make time for just 20-30 minutes of self-myofascial release a day, you will start to feel the benefits of a healthier more balanced body which is less prone to injury.   Are there any ways that people can speed up their recovery? As above, even if you are recovering from an injury, there are many self-help techniques which can help your body to rebalance and regain fitness. We teach our clients self-myofascial release techniques using specially designed myofascial balls. We prefer to use these as they are designed to help release stuck fascia and are therefore more versatile (and less painful) than other products such as foam rollers.  When it comes to fascia, the old sporty adage ‘no pain, no gain’ doesn’t apply! Fascia responds best to slow, progressive work.   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? If anyone has an injury or chronic pain condition, they need the reassurance that their therapist understands what is wrong with them and knows how to help. Many people we see have been through the medical mill – they have seen doctors, specialists, had many diagnostic tests, have been prescribed medication and even had surgery. When their pain persists, they are often told there is nothing wrong with them (because fascial restrictions don’t show up on MRI scans and X-Rays) and told they have to live with their pain. This is obviously not helpful and can be frustrating. In these instances what people need is a soft tissue specialist (whether it is massage, myofascial release or another hands-on therapy). Ask your therapist about your specific injury or condition, what their understanding is, have they treated it before and how, and what sort of self-care advice they can provide. Expect to commit to a programme of about 6 regular treatment sessions, and also commit to following the self-care advice you are given. In return, you should start to feel a lasting improvement by the end of your treatment programme, and can then discuss with your therapist how best to proceed.   View Pain Care Clinic's profile on Sports Injury Fix here       Amanda Oswald - Owner of Pain Care Clinics

How To Reduce The Risk Of Injury And Speed Up Recovery - Sports Injury Q&A with Amanda Oswald from Pain Care Clinic Written January 2018

The National Running Show is taking place at the NEC Birmingham 20-21 January and we’re excited that SportsInjuryFix will be there with a number of our members offering advice, guidance and treatment. Come along and say hello.Free tickets: You can save yourself a tenner by getting free tickets here before 20th December.

National Running Show - Announcement and free tickets Written December 2017

Who are you and where are you based? My name is Tim Veysey-Smith. I am a Sports Podiatrist and trail runner specialising in the treatment of running injuries based in the Weald of Kent, England. What are the most common sports-related injuries you see? As I specialise in treating runners, I see a lot of running related injuries! The majority of these are caused by overuse, or ‘too much too soon’. The most common injuries I see among runners are Plantar fasciitis, Achilles Tendinopathy, Shin Splints, Calf muscle strains and Forefoot pain. What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? For runners, 2 or 3 sessions of strength and conditioning per week can reduce your risk of injury by as much as 50%! Simple body weight exercises such as squats, lunges and heel raises can be done quickly at home and are a good start.    Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? Do your rehabilitation exercises and don’t rush back too early. Recovery from injury is a process and you can’t shortcut Mother Nature. The good news is that it is usually possible to cross train in order to maintain your aerobic fitness so you don’t lose out too much during recovery.   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? Obviously make sure your therapist is registered with a recognised professional body, such as the Health and Care Professions Council. It is also an advantage if your therapist has an interest in and understanding of the sport you are involved in. For example as a runner myself I can empathise with runners when they get injured and am able to give specific advice and treatment based on my knowledge of the sport.  View the profile of Active Podiatry here  

How To Reduce The Risk of injury And Speed Up Recovery - Sports Injury Q&A with Tim Veysey-Smith from Active Podiatry Written December 2017

The Advertising Standards Authority recently released new guidance which has led to some debates as to whether chiropractic can help with sports injuries and whether chiropractors are able to list their services on a website such as SportsInjuryFix.com.  The simple answer is yes, but with some caveats.   The British Chiropractic Association told us: Chiropractors can advertise to treat sport injuries but the claims have to comply with the guidance. Putting "minor" before sports injuries is compliant. Advertising on a sports injury website is no problem as long as there is no implication that chiropractors can treat more serious sports injuries.    The General Chiropractic Council told us: The GCC is unable to act in an advisory capacity, firstly, for the reason that, as a regulator, we have a duty to remain impartial and also because we do not set advertising guidelines but issue guidance in line with the governing body (the ASA).  Our guidance is based on the ASA guidelines.   The formal view from the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is as follows: The ASA and the CAP have seen evidence sufficient to support claims that chiropractic can help with a range of problems which may arise from sports injury. However, there are many conditions which may be caused by such injuries for which the ASA/CAP have not seen evidence. Chiropractors may claim that chiropractic can help with minor sports injuries and with specific conditions (for which the ASA/CAP have seen evidence of efficacy) which may be caused by sports injuries, including highlighting that those problems may arise from sports injury.   Problems which may arise from sports injury which chiropractors may claim chiropractic can help with (‘acceptable conditions’): Joint pains General aches and pain, including those of joints, muscle spasms and cramp Cervicogenic headache Rotator cuff injuries, diseases or disorders; soft tissue disorders of the shoulder; shoulder complaints, dysfunction, disorders and pain Short-term management of ankle sprains and plantar fasciitis Elbow pain and tennis elbow arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck (but not isolated occurrences)   Claims relating to sports injuries are unlikely to mislead if: Generalised claims that chiropractic can help “sports injuries” are qualified to either: a) Make clear that chiropractic cannot help with all conditions caused by sports injuries (e.g. “we treat minor sports injuries / we treat some sport injuries”); or b) Refer to specific problems which the ASA/CAP accept chiropractic can help with Explicit or implied treatment claims (including through symptoms referred to) are restricted to those which the ASA/CAP accept chiropractic can help with They describe methods of diagnosis and treatment that a chiropractor uses for injuries sustained during sporting activities They give details of the specific qualifications or experience in this area of the chiropractor/s whose services are advertised.   The full ASA guidance can be found here.   If you have any questions or comments about this we'd love to hear from you at info@sportsinjuryfix.com or twitter @SportsInjuryFix

Can Chiropractors treat sports injuries? Written November 2017

Who are you and where are you based? Virginia Williams Physiotherapy based at the Llandaff Clinic, Llandaff North, Cardiff. What are the most common sports-related injuries you see? The most common sports-related injuries I see are ankle ligament strains What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? Injuries often happen through pushing the body too hard, therefore, aim to get fit to play your sport.  Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) for 48 hours following the injury is a good way to speed up recovery. Ice packs/frozen peas etc should be wrapped in a tea towel to avoid burns to the skin and applied for approx 15 minutes every 2-3 hours.   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? You should always make sure your physio is chartered and state registered.     

Reduce The Risk of Injury & Speed Up Recovery - Sports Injury Q&A with Virginia Williams Physiotherapy, Cardiff Written November 2017

Who are you and where are you based?  We are Brighton Physiotherapy Clinic. We are based in Kemptown in Brighton, just south of the County Hospital. We also have a base in Hove at a residential address near Hove Park. We are mainly Musculoskeletal Outpatients physiotherapists but between us we are able to cover pregnancy and post natal related pains and injuries, child and adolescent musculoskeletal pains and injuries. We all participate in different sports and activities so we have a wide range of knowledge within most sports. For example, Tina (Lead Physiotherapist) worked and lived out in the French Alps for 5 years and has a very good understanding and knowledge of ski & snowboard related injuries. Claire, another of our physiotherapists is currently undertaking a course in yoga for physiotherapists.      What are the most common sports related injuries you see? We get a lot of running injuries, especially around the time of the marathons. Lots of knee problems, often related to poor stretching and weak gluteals. We have a steady stream of low back and neck pains from the ever increasing desk and computer work.   What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? Top tip: Stretch everyday! Not first thing when you wake up, allow your body to warm up a little first but then you can stretch at anytime during the day. It is most beneficial after you have been doing exercise but as long as you spend some time to stretch before you go to bed, it is still beneficial. Don’t rush! Take your time to hold your stretches. Most people stretch for such a short period of time, there is not much benefit to doing the stretch.   Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?  If you think you have an injury that will not recover quickly on its own, make sure you go to see a physiotherapist as soon as you can. The quicker we can see you and assess you, the quicker we can treat the injury and give you advice on how to manage it yourself at home. The longer you leave it, the more chronic the injury may become and the longer recovery time. Listen to your physiotherapist and ask all the questions you need to understand your injury and recovery. Knowledge is Power! We also have links with a nutritionist who specialises in tissue repair and injury recovery for anyone that wants to use their diet to help speed up their recovery.   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? When choosing a treatment provider, make sure that all the physiotherapists are registered with the HCPC and the CSP. These are the governing bodies of our profession. They make sure that all physiotherapists continue to study, attend courses and are up to date with their training, making sure that we use evidence based practice and that we do not become stagnant with our treatments. The ethos of physiotherapists is to treat and manage a patients injury or pain, supply knowledge, advice and an understanding of their injury, and rehabilitate the patient so that the injury does not reoccur.    You can view the profile of Brighton Physiotherapy Clinic on SportsInjuryFix here.   Follow us on twitter @SportsInjuryFix      

How to reduce the risk of injury and speed up recovery - Sports Injury Q&A with Brighton Physiotherapy Clinic Written October 2017

Who are you and where are you based? Judy Hattle of Carlisle Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic.  We are based in the centre of the City of Carlisle   What are the most common sports related injuries you see? The most common sports injury that we see are ligament injuries to the knee closely followed by ankle sprains     What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? The tips for reducing your injury risk is: wear suitable/correct footwear for the sport, warm up properly and use good technique    Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?   The rate of recovery is fairly standard for all of us but you can improve the conditions for healing by RICE (rest, ice compression and elevation) and then regaining the full range of mobility in the part affected. Return to activity should be graduated   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?   Choose a practitioner with a good general and sports injury experience.   Further information can be found on Judy and the Carlisle Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic on their SportsInjuryFix.com profile here  

Sports Injuries Q&A with Judy Hattle from Carlisle Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic Written October 2017

Who are you and where are you based?  I am Doug Plunkett, senior therapist at Moveology™. We Specialise in helping clients out of pain by getting their bodies back to centre again and our tag line is 'Improvement Through Movement™'   We use a mixture of traditional and latest techniques, using gait analysis and pressure plate technologies. Our client base tends to be both ahtletes and non-athletes who have been suffering chronic pain that traditional treatments can only ease temporarily.    What are the most common sports related injuries you see? We see a whole range of injuries at our clinics from falls, impact and postural issues to all manner of sports injuries. I think one of the most common has to be lower back pain/injury. The usual reason is lack of activation/strength in the glutes causing compensation issues elsewhere. After lower back I would say we have a lot of shoulder and calf injuries, mainly due to overuse in swimmers and runners.     What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? My top tip has to visit a recommended sports massage therapist at least once a month to stop any 'niggles' developing into injuries that could lead to having to take time out from training.    Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?   To help speed up your recovery there are several things an athlete can do. Immediately after training (30mins after max) take on some carbs and protein to help refuel and repair tired and torn muscles. Also get your self a good sports massage a couple of days after a hard training day or race. Finally, practice a good cool down/stretch protocol. You may also want to look into taking up Pilates or yoga to help with core stability and flexibility.   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? You should look for someone who comes recommended and is into the same sport as you are firstly. Once you found someone you then want to check out qualifications and industry bodies they maybe affiliated with.

How to reduce the risk of injury and speed up recovery by Doug Plunkett, Moveology. Written October 2017

In our latest guest blog on SportsInjuryFix.com experienced endurance athlete Matthew Dawes gives us his tips for how to go long, have fun and avoid injury:   I've been lucky. Over the last 10 yrs I've completed 22 Ironman triathlons (including the World Championships in Hawaii), the Marathon des Sables and a few marathons.  Some were fast, some slow but I've loved every one.  Not always during, and not always on the finish line. But pretty soon afterwards...   In my spare time I have a full time job and a pre-school daughter.     Impossible to do all of that without "managing through" a few injuries. As I started with, I've been lucky and avoided anything serious. But I think I've also set about things sensibly.   My top tips:    1. Respect running. You can build your engine on the bike and swimming is great rehab. Don't try to "run through" injuries. I've had great races on very limited run training.   2. Value Rehab. Structured work to address injuries is a great focus and surprisingly hard work. I have taken stuff I like from rehab into my regular routine. Come back slowly, and stay back!     3. Strength & Conditioning - do it! This is not an optional extra. Just find a handful of exercises that work for you (target any specific weakness - I do a lot of ankle work...) and fit them in after other workouts.   4. Rest and time are the Great Healers. Not for everything, of course. But in my experience many niggles will go away if you allow yourself a little space. Unless you are an Olympic athlete, there IS always next year...   5. Enjoy your sport and make it an integral part of your normal life. Many people give up their lives to do an Ironman. You shouldn't! It almost certainly takes less training than you think. If you just weave in more exercise into your general routine, you're much more likely to carry on after "the Race". And if, horror of horrors, you do get injured, it's not the catastrophe it is for some.   Above all, just keep moving forward with a smile...     Matt      

Endurance: How to go long, have fun and avoid injury by Matthew Dawes Written September 2017

Andy from YourPerfectPractice recently wrote this blog that we thought would be helpful to our therapist members, plus it says nice things about SportsInjuryFix which we always appreciate! Marketing for therapists: Who do you want to attract to your business?For many private therapy business owners marketing is considered essential to growth and survival but also considered time consuming and daunting. This combination can lead to poor marketing and brand image.The aim of marketing is to attract the specific client who you most like to work with. This means sitting down to analyse a “persona” of your ideal client.Their demographic, type of injury history, age, income etc. Then you need to consider how to attract these perfect clients to your business. How does your brand reflect you? Is that what these clients are looking for? The key is taking the time to understand what your clients want, why they want it and make sure you can provide it.It’s about expectation matching.With the modern world of internet, Dr Google and social media it is a lot more accessible to find these people if you have the correct messaging and approach.For example, if you think you’re great at treating  sports injuries from ankle sprains, knee ligament injuries to post-surgical rehabilitation then you need to consider who are these people. Importantly you need to consider where they “hang out” for advice or what they search for in Google (or Bing etc). Taking the time to make sure your website and social media is clear how you can help your ideal client and then identifying how you can be seen by this audience is essential if you want to be successful.On my market research, I came across SportsInjuryFix.com. This is a site where you can register your company details for free and they are doing the hard work to attract your ideal audience for you. This is cost and time effective. This site is full of businesses all over the UK looking for their ideal clients. The private therapy market is one of the fastest growing market worldwide. More people are understanding the need to exercise more which, combined with the growing and ageing population, leads to stress on the MSK NHS services thus increasing the demand for private services.So how can YOU stand out?One way is taking the time to get your messaging right when your perfect client does find you. There is no point identifying who you want to work with, taking the time to register with sites like www.sportinjuryfix.com, then do a half bothered attempt to educate these perfect clients about how YOU can help benefit THEM.When I spoke with founder of the site he said some people didn’t even take the extra minute to fully complete their details, leaving an incomplete profile that misses the opportunity of creating the best impression, well WOW!!!If you want to be successful in a growing and crowded market you NEED to do yourself justice. You need to highlight WHY you are the correct business for this client. Lack of time may well be a factor for you but an extra 5 minutes to re-read or to re consider your messaging and content can be well worth the return on investment.  Rushed or incomplete marketing can have the opposite effect to what you intended.If you already are working hard towards your dream goal of having a successful and profitable private therapy business don’t let yourself down by laziness or lack of effort with your marketing.If in doubt ask….Hope this helps.ThanksAndy Founder of

Marketing for therapists: Who do you want to attract to your business? Written September 2017

Who are you and where are you based? Jeremy Burton, Registered osteopath, BSc (Hons) Osteopathy, based in High Street Kensington, London and Enfield.  We specialise in Active Release Techniques (ART), Functional Range Release/Conditioning and Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) as well as being a Titleist Medical Professional level 2.   What are the most common sports related injuries you see? Spine including neck and shoulder problems.   What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? Move well and move often. To have good range and control of motion throughout the body.   Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? Use a system such as the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and Functional Range Conditioning (FRC)   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? A combination of excellent treatment skills, diagnostic skills, communication skills and rehab/exercise skills.     Click here to see the profile for Jeremy Burton on Sports Injury Fix    

Jeremy Burton's top tip for reducing the risk of injury Written September 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment Who are you and where are you based? Apps Physiotherapy is a small clinic in Romford with just myself currently running and treating patients for physiotherapy. I am the lead physio - Sophie Apps.   What are the most common sports related injuries you see? I see a range of MSK and sports conditions, with special interest in runners, cyclist and triathletes, so injuries are anything from overuse, repetitive based injuries, one off crashes and post surgery rehabilitation.   What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? This would be to utilise regular strength and conditioning exercises throughout your training, and if you suspect something is up. then get it checked sooner rather than later.   Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? You can't cheat natural biology, but there ways to help make the process of returning to sport easier; continue cardio work where possible to avoid the deficit you will naturally have when you are injured. Keep a positive attitude throughout an injury - it does the world of good when it's time for your body to return to the sport you love.   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? Check the provider's history, what qualifications they have and how long they have been working in the industry, do they specialise in anything and is this backed up by extra qualifications etc. For Physios make sure they are HCPC registered and insured. Don't see anyone who isn't.   Click here to see the profile for Apps Physiotherapy on Sports Injury Fix          

Sports Injury Q&A with Apps Physiotherapy Written June 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment   Who are you and where are you based?  Pete Lion, Sport Physiotherapist and Director of One Physiotherapy, Madejski Stadium, Reading.  We specialise in: Physiotherapy Sports Physiotherapy Sports Massage Acupuncture Clinical Pilates Strength and Conditioning  Hydrotherapy Hand and Upper Limb Therapy High Level Rehabilitation   What are the most common sports related injuries you see? We see a range of sports injuries ranging from knee and back pain to post-operative knee, ankle and shoulder problems. We specialise in taking people back to performing at their best.   What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? Be aware of your training load and how you progress. You want to get stronger and fitter as fast as you can without increasing the risk of injury. We can help guide this progression.   Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? Be thorough in your rehabilitation and take an active role. Understand your injury and the things that aggravate it and those that help you get better.   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? Someone with good clinical experience who has ideally undertaken further Masters Degree level study. Most of all someone who listens to your story and your understanding of your injury and makes the rehab process relevant to you. There should be a focus on what you can do, not what you can't do.     Click here to see the profile for One Physiotherapy on Sports Injury Fix      

How to avoid injury or recover quickly. Top tips from Pete Lion of One Physiotherapy. Written April 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment.   Who are you and where are you based?  We are NM Sports Therapy Clinic based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. We specialise in sports injury management, using a whole body approach with our mission 'getting you back to where you want to be'.     What are the most common sports related injuries you see? We see a lot of ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and lower back injuries, from a large variety of sports along with a great deal of non-sport related postural and musculoskeletal issues.   What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? Our biggest injury prevention tip is to learn a little about how your body works. Everyone is different in their own special ways - that works on a musculoskeletal level too.  Whether you need more mobility or you need to strengthen certain areas to help YOU prevent injury. All of our therapists will educate you, as much or as little as you feel you need during treatments so that you can look after yourself and help self-prevent injuries.   Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? Biggest tip to speed up recovery:  Don't put off seeing your Sports Therapist! There are always things you can do to help recovery right from the initial injury. Secondly, be true to yourself and your therapist, normally exercise therapy will be set as take home which is put in place to get you back to where you wannt to be, whether thats your goal of being pain free in general movement, or to be pain free, returned to your sport at the best you can be!   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? If you can get a personal recommendation for a clinic or practitioner - you will then get an honest representation of that practitioner. If you don't have any recommendations - look at whether they are a member of governing body or industry association. I am a member of The Society of Sports Therapists. Then look at experience - do they know your sport? If you're not sure, contact them - most practices will have an email or telephone consultation with you to find out if their practice is the right place for you. If you're not sure? ASK!   Click here to see the profile for NM Sports Therapy on Sports Injury Fix.    

Sports Injury Tips from NM Sports Therapy Written April 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment.   Who are you and where are you based?  Physio-Answers - 3 clinics 1) Leyton London - specialising in hypermobility syndrome, shoulder injuries (volleyball) and football injuries 2) Lewisham London - specialising in marathon running and open water swimming related injuries 3) Southend-on-Sea - speicalising in hypermobility syndrome, skiing and horse riding injuries   What are the most common sports related injuries you see? Knee from skiing and football-meniscus, ACL and back pain-from all sports   What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? Have good core stability   Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? Get Physio attention as soon as possible after the injury - so you rehab it correctly from the very start   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? Experience and a therapist that provides information of HOW treatment will help them   Click Leyton, Lewisham or Southend to see the profiles for the Physio Answers clinics.        

Sports injury tips from Physio Answers Written March 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment.   Who are you and where are you based? Jon. Leigh, Registered Osteopath from the Gillingham Clinic of Complementary Medicine   What are the most common sports related injuries you see? Football injuries, Rugby injuries, weight lifting injuries, cycling injuries.   What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? Warm-up correctly and warm down correctly. Do not strain.   Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? Take the advice of a knowledgeable practitioner and do not rush your recovery.   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? A fully qualified professional, who has knowledge and experience.   Click here to see the profile for Jon at Gillingham Clinic for Complementary Medicine

Sports Injury Tips from Jon Leigh, Osteopath at Gillingham Clinic of Complementary Medicine Written March 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment.   Who are you and where are you based? I'm Sara Green a graduate sports therapist located in Aylesford village,  Kent. I specialise in sports injuries.    What are the most common sports related injuries you see? As I work in rugby I often see hamstring strains and ankle sprains. With runners lots of Itb/hip stability issues.   What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? Top tip is to warm up - always. Preferably with dynamic stretching and 5-10 min of light cardio.   Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? Sports massage either with a therapist or self massage with a foam roller can help speed up recovery. Also a quick dip (10 min) in an ice bath.   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? Look for someone who works in or is active in sport. They'll not only understand biomechanics but also the demands even everyday athletes put themselves under.   Click here to see the profile for Sara at Prestige Sport Injury Clinic  

Sports Injury Tips From Sara at Prestige Sport Injury Clinic Written March 2017

This is the first in a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment.   Who are you and where are you based? My name is Bob Allen, my business is Sollus Healthcare and I am an osteopath based at the Chris Moody Centre in Moulton, Northampton which is a specialist sports injury and rehabilitation centre.  I specialise in treating sports injuries, posture related problems and workstation assessments.   What are the most common sports related injuries you see? The type of injury that I see relates to the sport so with runners or keen walkers I see a lot of knee and ITB problems, powerlifters, swimmers and Wheelchair basketball players it’s low back and shoulders     What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? I always advise my clients with lower limb problems to do dynamic warm ups and post event stretching and anyone with upper body problems to improve spinal mobility.   Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? I have found that managing their expectations is the best way to speed up recovery. Athletes always want to get back to their sport asap and don’t always give themselves sufficient time to recover which can mean they are out for even longer. They should listen to their therapist and stick to the rehab plan – Pain is not their friend.   What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? The best advice I can give is to speak to the treatment provider, explain the problem and listen to their answers. If they can give you a good, easy to understand, explanation of what your problem is and how they intend to resolve it that is a good sign. If they try to baffle you with science and meaningless jargon then probably best to walk away. The other thing is whether you like and trust them because if you don’t it’s going to be a very long recovery period.   Click here to see the profile for Sollus Healthcare    

Sports injury tips from Sollus Healthcare Written March 2017

  There are lots of articles that tell you that strength work is beneficial for you but what impact does it have on reducing sports injuries and how can you find time for it?   The challenge is that there are many variables to reducing sports injuries including technique and training load. Strength training is just one element but the evidence points to it being beneficial and there are simple ways to incorporate it that don’t involve going to the gym or replacing one of your runs.   One of the most quoted studies is that of Lauersen et al. 2013  who did a systematic review of the benefits of strength training amongst 26,610 participants. The studies covered a range of sports rather than any being solely focussed on running alone but found that strength training reduced overuse injuries by almost 50% and sports injuries to less than a third.   The challenge is that everyone is different and depending on how you run and your physiology there are different people who will need to strengthen different areas. The key is to get a balanced strength programme and the best is the one you have time to do which is why short bodyweight workouts less than 15 minutes long such as this one here are perfect.    Given the potential benefits it’s surely worth a try to see what impact it has for you? You can search for a specialist to help tailor you a routine here or why not try this free 30 day challenge that’s only 10-15 mins a day and see how you get on?   The creator of the programme is James Dunne who coaches runners and triathletes and he told SportsInjuryFix that just a few minutes invested in strength, stability and mobility work a few times per week will help any runner prevent injury and build consistency in their training. It’s this consistency that allows us in-time to run faster for longer. 

Should you be doing strength work to reduce your risk of injury? Written January 2017

Sports massage is the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is commonly also referred to as soft tissue therapy and is beneficial for people wanting to recover from a soft tissue injury or guard against one.    Sports massage helps identify and loosen areas of tightness helping to stop them developing into injuries. It can improve the recovery from injury by helping to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness and stress and is an area where regularity may help. The more often you go to a sports massage therapist the more impact they can have through learning your body and knowing where to focus. It may also improve joint flexibility and mobility and reduce the risk of injury during exercise. For example a study in the journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2010 found improved hip-flexor range of motion even from a 30 second massage.     Sports massage is regulated on a voluntary basis rather than by legal statute which means that the title sports massage is not protected, so it is worth checking the credentials of the person you are seeing to ensure they are a member of an industry association such as the Sports Massage Association (SMA).    Paul Medlicott the Chair of the SMA says "The Sports Massage Association sets education standards for their members that help to ensure clients receive the most appropriate treatment for their personal requirements."   Find the right sports massage therapist for you at SportsInjuryFix.com  

What is Sports Massage and how can it help treat and prevent sports injuries? Written December 2016

Chiropractors are trained to diagnose, treat, manage and prevent disorders of the musculoskeletal system as well as the effects these disorders can have on the nervous system and general health. The musculoskeletal system incorporates your bones, joints and muscles. Chiropractors’ specialist interest is neck and back pain, focussing on the health of the spine, however this involves understanding and assessing the entire physical wellbeing of the patient to fix the cause rather than just treat the symptoms. Chiropractors use a range of safe, often gentle techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility.  Such techniques include hands-on manipulation of the spine, ultrasound, acupuncture, tailored exercises and advice on posture and lifestyle changes.  Specific spinal manipulation can free joints in the spine or other areas of the body that are not moving properly. Although chiropractors are best known for treating back and neck pain, which they do very well, patients also consult chiropractors regarding a range of other, related conditions and they have a longstanding history of treating musculoskeletal sports injuries. As a regulated industry then in order to call themselves a chiropractor someone has to be trained to degree level on an approved course and registered with the General Chiropractic Council. Their role is to protect the public through setting and ensuring high standards of practice for chiropractors, keeping a register and dealing with complaints.  Many Chiropractors also join an association such as the British Chiropractic Association which serves to develop, progress and represent members’ needs and interests. The British Chiropractic Association says “Chiropractic can be an excellent treatment option for sports injuries and pain. When sportspeople are unable to improve no matter how much hard work they put in, chiropractic treatment can also aid them in exceeding their ability threshold. Treatment is often followed by a rehabilitation plan which may help to strengthen the injured area, improve your flexibility and help to prevent future problems. It can also increase your control, co-ordination and muscle strength. Many top sports teams therefore employ a BCA chiropractor as part of their medical care provision. Importantly, chiropractors will always do a detailed examination of your health before treatment to ensure that chiropractic care is appropriate for your condition.”  Find your nearest chiropractor here   Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix  

What is Chiropractic? How can a Chiropractor treat & help prevent sports injuries? Written December 2016

An Osteopath can help improve performance as well as treat the injuries being suffered.  By using their knowledge of diagnosis and highly developed palpatory skills they can help to restore structural balance, improve joint mobility and reduce adhesions and soft tissue restrictions so that ease of movement is restored and performance enhanced.   For those into sports, an Osteopath can help you keep supple and improve muscle tone reducing the risk of injury to soft tissues unaccustomed to the extra work they are being asked to do. Advice on diet and exercise which will help you with your specific sport may also be offered. To qualify, an Osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine and includes more than 1,000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques. By law, Osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) which sets competency, conduct and safety standards and promotes them.  It is an offence for anyone to call themselves an Osteopath if they are not registered with the GOsC.   The Institute of Osteopathy, the professional body for osteopaths in the UK says; “Osteopaths provide a personal and effective approach to the care for sports people competing at both an amateur or professional level.  We are seeing increasing numbers of osteopaths working at the highest level of elite sports, including at the recent Olympics and at many professional sports clubs.  So whether you are a professional or weekend runner, your osteopath can provide the highest quality of advice and care to enable you to enjoy your sport!”       There is also the Osteopathic Sports Care Association and their chairman Simeon Milton describes their role as "OSCA has worked for 20 years to provide routes into sports for Osteopaths by way of advance clinical practice/mentoring, education and promotion of Osteopathic Sports Care for amateur through to elite level."   Find your nearest Osteopath at www.sportsinjuryfix.com           Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix  

What is Osteopathy and how can an Osteopath treat and help prevent sports injuries? Written November 2016

Starting and running a practice can be tough when you just want to concentrate on treating patients. Thankfully there are lots of free resources out there such as SportsInjuryFix.com that can help. The Private Practice Hub helps therapists and coaches to start and grow their business. Their website is packed full of useful articles about finance, marketing, business plans, coaching, online therapy, software, professional issues and more. You can find CPD events and training on the events database, read reviews of software for therapists, watch live or pre-recorded webinars and workshops on the PPH TV channel, find therapy rooms to rent, and download free business templates. You can also access special offers from businesses providing services to therapists. Geoff Simons, the founder of The Private Practice Hub says " we are committed to helping practitioners face new challenges such as online therapy and the use of technology such as apps and practice management software.It’s the only website in the UK offering such a comprehensive package of business advice for private practitioners – absolutely free!" Visit www.privatepracticehub.co.uk to find out more. Like SportsInjuryFix on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

Free help to start and grow your business Written November 2016

If there is no improvement in your injury then this is a time for patience and honesty. We all want to get healed instantly but ask yourself these five questions: 1) Is it time to get some help? If you've been treating yourself and are seeing no improvement you really should seek the help of a professional. 2) Have you been doing the rehabilitation exercises you've been given? As frustrating as it can sometimes feel doing rehabilitation exercises there is a reason to them. If you're not doing them correctly and thus not giving your body a chance to recover you can't blame the specialist. 3) Have you got frustrated and pushed a bit harder or gone quicker because it felt good but that's aggravated the injury afterwards? On the road to recovery there will be times when we notice an improvement and get a bit carried away. Patience is key so, although it's frustrating, focus on the long term and don't risk aggravating the injury.  4) Are things progressing in line with what the therapist told you? We would all love an instant fix but sadly it does take time and hard work to recover. If you are progressing in line with the treatment providers expectations then that is a good thing.  5) Have you told the treatment provider how you feel? Communication is key. A therapist can only learn so much by feel and the more you have a two way dialogue the easier it will be to get to the root cause of the problem. Everyone is different so if you're finding one set of exercises isn't working then tell the therapist so they can try something else. Having said all that sometimes things just don't work out and for whatever reason you have no improvement with that therapist or you just don't feel it's working out. Do not be scared to have this conversation and most therapists will be happy to recommend a different approach to take or refer you to someone else. Alternatively use Sports Injury Fix to find someone else.  Whatever your experience of a therapist please leave a review on SportsInjuryFix.com to help others in your situation.    Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix  

What if there is no improvement in my injury after receiving treatment? Written October 2016

It is a fact that people that play sport, whether it's professional or amateur experience a higher amount of foot related injuries. Jumping, sprinting, twisting and the impact of collisions serve to increase pressure on the foot by as a much as three to seven times body weight. Chiropodists and podiatrists,  specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower limb and understand sports injuries. Feet play an important role in the biomechanics of the body and problems here can manifest themselves as pain elsewhere. Chiropodists and podiatrists are specialists in biomechanics and through assessments and gait analysis they can identity problems and develop tailored treatment and rehabilitation strategies.  In the UK there is no difference between the terms chiropodist and podiatrist.  In many other English-speaking countries, however, only the term ‘podiatrist’ is employed and this refers to the fully-trained professional.  The terms chiropodist and podiatrist are protected terms meaning they can only be used by an individual registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) which regulates 16 different professions. Each profession regulated by the HCPC has at least one professional body and/or association who do work such as promoting the profession, education and training, representing members and continuing professional development. For example the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (IOCP) was formed in 1955 having been renamed from the former organisation est. 1938. It's members have to adhere to a strict code of professional conduct providing greater peace of mind as to who you are seeing. The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists is another professional body  but they did not respond to any requests for comment on this article.  When this article was discussed with the IOCP they provided the following comment. "It is a priority of the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists that our members adhere to our code of conduct and that we are able to provide our members with the support they require, through ongoing training, peer discussion and education to continue their professional development. Ensuring that the latest treatments and the greatest care is being provided. It is also our mission to inform the public and sportspeople of ways in which podiatrists can provide treatment and information on all medical problems of the feet, as well as showing ways to manage foot health and how to prevent common problems or injury."   Find the best treatment provider for you at Sportsinjuryfix.com Like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  

What is a podiatrist or chiropodist? Written October 2016

Sport Rehabilitators (GSR’s) are specialist musculoskeletal (MSK) health care providers and understanding of how they can help people is growing quickly. GSR’s specialise in assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of a wide range of MSK conditions in both general and athletic populations from amateur to elite level. Their focus is on designing and implementing effective rehabilitation plans that allow people to return to work, sport or their daily activities with ease.  Sport Rehabilitation is a “Graduate only”profession. This means that all GSR’s are educated to a minimum of BSc (hons)degree level at an accredited institution. During their programme of study undergraduates learn the fundamental skills and knowledge in a variety of areas including: Anatomy and Physiology, Musculoskeletal Assessment, Musculoskeletal Conditions, Functional Rehabilitation, Strength and Conditioning, Sports Massage, Manual Therapy, Injury Prevention and Immediate Pitch Side Care.  The difference between a Sport Rehabilitator and Physiotherapist is that a Physiotherapist has had a much wider spectrum of training including: paediatrics, neurological conditions, cardio-respiratory disease and orthopaedics. This means that Physiotherapists have not focused as much on sport and exercise related injuries in their undergraduate training as GSRs.  BASRaT hold a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority forHealth and Social Care. This means that registrants of BASRaT (GSR’s) are regulated by the organisation. They must adhere to a strict code of conduct and are required to complete a minimum amount of Continued Professional Development each year.  As a regulator BASRaT has a responsibility to protect the public and ensure that each person who sees a Sport Rehabilitator is able to do so in confidence. As part of this process BASRaT have a “register check” function on the website whereby members of the public can check the registration status of any individual. The register check function also allows members of the public to see any Fitness to Practice cases brought against a registrant. The online search is available at www.basrat.org/membercheck/index/false For more information about Sport Rehabilitation as a profession, or as BASRaT as a regulator you can visit the BASRaT website. In addition to the information on the website you will also find contact details for the BASRaT office, please feel free to make contact with any questions you may have. www.basrat.org/ Find your nearest treatment provider here   Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix  

What is a sports rehabilitator? Written October 2016

 When I was a child, asthma prevented me from running, so I grew up quite content with walking as my main exercise and cycling for when I wanted to push myself a bit harder and faster. In my early sixties, however, my life changed. I found myself with a new partner, Ruth, whose family were heavily into triathlons, up to and including the awesome @IRONMANtri. In 6 months’ time there would be a big family participation in the Human Race Garmin Eton “supersprint”, consisting of a 400k swim, 20k bike and 5k run. At first I resolutely stuck to my cycling, but then I fell off and broke my arm. No cycling possible for many weeks, but swimming would be an obvious therapy for the broken arm, so I thought why not also take up running and then a triathlon might after all be possible  Wary of making a fool of myself in public, and also of re-igniting an old Achilles injury, I was ultra-cautious. With my arm still in a sling, without even a pair of trainers, I experimented at home. My flat was in a converted  Victorian villa – two large rooms connected by a small corridor. I worked out that if I placed a chair in the centre of each room, then one figure-of-eight circuit around both chairs measured exactly 25 metres. So 4 circuits would be 100m, 20 circuits 500m, 40 circuits a full kilometre. Jogging bare-foot on the carpet, increasing the distance each day, I was able to demonstrate to myself after a couple of weeks that in fact I could run without problems. Now was the time for a little expense – a trip to Up And Running in Bristol to get fitted with a good pair of running shoes. Then it was out onto the road. I had always been struck by the advice of Countryfile presenter Matt Baker : “Keep a pair of trainers by your bedside. First thing in the morning, put them on, go out into the street and run for 5 minutes, turn around and run home – hey presto, you’ve run a mile!”. So I did just that, exploring the bays and headlands of Clevedon about 3 times a week.  Although I had plenty of encouragement from surprised friends and family, my preference at this stage was always to run alone, so as never to be tempted to run too fast. I measured out a couple of 5k circuits and used a stopwatch to record my times, spurred on by the steady improvements. My sons then took me in hand and got me doing hill-training: run gently uphill for exactly 2 minutes, mark the spot, jog back down, then run back up again a little bit faster, repeat until exhausted. Sure enough, my 5k times improved. The arm healed, I was able to build up the swimming (simple breast-stroke) to the required 16 lengths of the pool, but there was another hurdle to overcome: my first Triathlon would be at Eton, with the swim not in a cosy heated pool but outdoors in Lake Dorney, one of the venues for the London Olympics. In early May, that would be COLD. So time for more expense – down to TRI UK’s enormous hangar of a shop in Yeovil to buy a wetsuit. I went all that way because in theory you could try them out first in a pool swimming against a current; however the practicalities of taking several suits on and off, and the risk of damage, meant that the shop really only wanted you to try out the one suit that you were likely to buy. Now came the painful part – testing the wetsuit in open water in April. Mad Mike’s old windsurfing lake just outside Bradley Stoke now advertises itself for open-water swimming. Noting the absence of lifeguard, I nervously asked what one is supposed to do if one gets into trouble in the water – the simple answer was “Stand Up!”- the lake is only 5ft deep . The water that day was 11 degrees. Yes, the wetsuit keeps you warm, but not your feet or hands, and when you try to swim properly the cold water numbs your face. The constriction of the wetsuit, and its unexpected buoyancy, completely bamboozled me at first – I simply could not make forward progress. Encouraged by Ruth’s son-in-law Rob, I persevered.  Keeping my head high out of the water, I struggled very slowly round the 400m marked course, then ran for the hot showers. Spot the grey-bearded author pre race Finally the big day came for my first actual race. It was my new stepson’s 40th birthday, and he had invited a large contingent of family and friends to take part, including his mother whose birthday it was too. We had decided to avoid the serious competition by all entering together, young and old, fit and unfit, in a “Mates’ Wave” start.   Wetsuits on, into the water we jumped. Yup, it was indeed COLD. Infuriatingly, we had to hang about treading water for a good 10 minutes while they gave us a race briefing which could easily have been done on dry land. When the Off came, I carefully position myself at the back so as not to have anyone swim over me ( I had heard too many horror stories of what happens in Ironman mass starts) and slowly work my way around the course in my own time. My sons Andy & Malc are on the bank cheering me on, and as I am last in the wave I have my own personal safety kayak accompanying me, so I can chat with the kayaker too. Unbeknown to me, Rob is winding up the crowd at the finish of the swim, pointing me out and explaining it is my first attempt. So as I stagger to try to get out of the water, it is to loud cheers. I find that really heartening. Relief or enjoyment? Once on the bike, again big cheers for me every time I come round past the swim finish. Crowd support can make such a difference! I actually manage to overtake one other rider, but am unable to hold on when we hit the wind at the far end of the lake, so I go into the run still in last position. I come up alongside another runner and we encourage each other onward, but then she peels off to finish – she’s a whole lap ahead of me. Somehow I struggle round that final lap to a grand reception committee at the finish and then a nice surprise – despite finishing last, I find out that as I am the only competitor in that wave in my 65-70 age category, I have actually also come first. As one of those other competitors happened to be Jenson Button, I can truthfully say that I raced against Jenson Button and I came first!    Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix    

First triathlon aged 64 by Nigel Sloan Written September 2016

  Once you've decided you need to see someone about your injury it can be confusing to know who to go with as there are various different professions that can help and you may not be familiar with them. In our survey in 2017 just 17% said it was easy to find a good treatment provider.  Our survey at the National Running Show in 2018 showed that 55% of people thought it was hard or very hard to find good treatment.  The focus of Sports Injury Fix is not on any one profession it is on highlighting professionally trained people that can help you so it's easier for you to find good treatment.  Use Sports Injury Fix to see which specialists, therapists and sports injury clinics are in the area that's convenient for you, what they specialise in and what is written about them. All of the professions listed on Sports Injury Fix are trained to help with sports injuries.  If you have friends who can provide a recommendation for any of them then that is a bonus.   What works for one person may not be the same for another, particularly if it's a different injury so take your time and feel free to contact and meet more than one provider. Do not commit to paying for multiple sessions if you do not feel confident in them.  It can be invaluable to find someone who has expertise in your sport and/or your injury to maximise your chances of a quick recovery. You can do a tailored search for this on the website.  In our experience you know when you click with the right person and they seem to telepathically understand your problems and body.  Don't expect an instant fix though, it generally requires you to commit to doing whatever rehabilitation plan you're given!  Qualifications Physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and podiatrists are all regulated and have to meet minimum standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. In order to operate in the UK by law physiotherapists and podiatrists are required to be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), Osteopaths with the General Osteopathic Council and Chiropractors with the General Chiropractic Council. For professions that aren't regulated such as Sports Therapy, Sports Rehabilitation or Sports Massage then you should seek to use a provider that is a member of an industry association such as the Sports Therapy Association, British Association of Sports Rehabilitators & Trainers, or  Sports Massage Association that help set and maintain high standards.   Advanced qualifications and experience definitely help but sometimes a newly qualified enthusiastic person can be spot on too as well as tending to be a bit cheaper. Always check that their qualifications and insurance are up to date and all of the associations will let you search on their website to confirm members details.  Reviews We only want responsible and professional specialists on Sports Injury Fix and thus if you have a bad experience then please let us know.  Please write a review of whoever you choose to help inform the decisions of others.  Happy searching!    Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix  

Key points to help you choose a treatment provider for your sports injury Written September 2016

Sports Therapy focuses on the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation back to functional, occupational and/or sports specific fitness, whatever your age or sporting ability. It is based on the principles of sport and exercise sciences, including physiological and pathological processes, focusing on musculoskeletal and soft tissue rehabilitation. There are many similarities to physiotherapy and shared training however a  physiotherapist's training will include wider healthcare aspects whereas a sports therapist will tend to focus exclusively in the sports and exercise field. A Sports Therapist has the knowledge, skills and ability to:  • utilise sports and exercise principles to optimise performance, preparation and to reduce injury potential • provide the immediate care of injuries and basic life support • assess, treat and, where appropriate, refer on for specialist advice and intervention • provide appropriate sport and remedial massage • plan and implement tailored rehabilitation programmes   Sports therapy is an unregulated profession meaning the 'Sports Therapist' title is not protected and thus it is worth looking for a therapist that is a member of an association such as the Sports Therapy Association.    The Sports Therapy Association is described by its founder Gary Benson as "an independent and ethical association without bias that is committed to lobbying for positive change, raising standards across the industry and progressing opportunities for members. They work tirelessly in order to promote excellence in the field of Sports Therapy. "   Find your nearest one on www.sportsinjuryfix.com   Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

What is Sports Therapy? Written September 2016

Deciding whether a niggle or a pain warrants a visit to a doctor, or a specialist such as a physio can be tricky. You have four options options.   1) Do nothing It's surprising how many times people ignore a pain or a niggle hoping it will 'go away' particularly if there's a big game or event coming up and they can't afford to miss any training. Sometimes you can 'run off' a niggle or stiffness but more often than not then pushing through causes worse problems in the long run and a higher chance of you missing the game or event you were aiming for. Positives: Free and easy Negatives: Rarely effective and can lead to worse problems.   2) Self Treat You can try and treat yourself from the latest exercises you've found on the Internet. If you know your body this can be a good option. It is a bit more hit and miss and only treats the symptoms but can be worth trying for a week or two. Positives: Free and can be effective Negatives: Can just treat symptoms rather than root cause, can take longer than seeing a specialist.   3) GP A GP only has ten minutes and will likely refer you to an NHS physio although sometimes you can self refer. Either way waiting times tend to vary by area.  If you're lucky you'll get a physio like my cousin in Glasgow who is an ironman triathlete and truly understands sporting injuries. Other times you may get someone who doesn't understand your sport or unfortunately as its a free service simply doesn't have the time to be able to understand the true cause and just gives you a list of generic exercises to try and alleviate the symptoms.  Positives: Free and can be very effective Negatives: Hit and miss with level of understanding of sports injuries and time to understand root cause.  Waiting times can vary.   4) Specialist If you want to have the greatest chance of finding someone that understands your sport, the injury you have and can treat both the symptoms and the cause then see a specialist. You can research who is in your area and choose the best person for you. Appointments are typically 45-60 minutes which gives them the time to get to the root cause of the issue and they will likely pick up other areas of tension that you didn't realise you had. Positives: Quick to get appointment, they have the time to understand the problem and you can choose who you want to see. Negatives: Costs money and it can be hard to know who is worth paying for.    In summary you are not limited to one of these options. It's worth bearing in mind though that your body does need looking after. Regular servicing to check it's all working well and stopping tight spots becoming injuries is time and money well spent let alone when you're actually injured.  Alternatively you can try which ever option suits your circumstances best and can change if it doesn't work.    Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

When should you see someone about your niggle, pain or injury? Written September 2016

You may have heard a lot of different things about Kinesiology Tape - that mysterious coloured tape worn by athletes all over the world. But what to actually believe - does it work, and if so, how?Kinesiology tape can be used to help treat many different sporting injuries - such as runners knee, shoulder pain, arm pump and tennis elbow. The current research on when, how and why kinesiology taping works is still limited in terms of controlled research trials but it’s popularity is increasingly incredibly quickly due to the number of people having felt it gives good results.  Some studies have shown incredible results in pain relief, muscular contraction force and range of motion (some links to a small selection below) but more is needed. SPORTTAPE were the official supplier of kinesiology tape to Team GB at London 2012 and have seen and experienced the positive effects of kinesiology tape when trying to support and aid weakened muscular structures when returning from injury (of which we've had a fair few between us over the last couple of years) and in lymphatic drainage (think bruising and swelling, the perfect example is dead leg). To put simply, we know it works, but right now no-one is 100% sure how.     The fact is that Kinesiology taping will not change the pathologic nature of tissue - it's not going to change your musculoskeletal structure - so must be working in other ways. We have theorized that the most likely response to taping is a sensory nervous system response to a stimulus of the stretch receptors in your skin. This has the potential to increase motor control and provide immediate pain relief. Some of the best responses we've seen have been through lymphatic drainage, you may have seen the thin wavy pattered taping method. This taping method gives a slight lift to the skin, creating the above mentioned neurosensory response and promoting lymphatic flow below the skin. These photos were taken 24 hours apart by one of our SPORTTAPE PRO's - Rex Physiotherapy.. You can see how the tape has helped to clear the bruising quickly.Most often we have found that the success of a taping application comes down to many different things. It can certainly help as part of the prevention and recovery process, but understanding it's limitations is essential too. The first step is to understand the reasoning behind the application, and that is where your medical professional comes in. They will be able to help deduce the root cause of your injury and whether kinesiology taping can and should be used as part of your recovery process, or to prevent any further injury. They'll also be able to help you apply the tape yourself, making sure you use the right balance of stretch and cuts to treat the injury. The good news is, if you're doing it yourself you can't really get it wrong - we actively encourage experimentation and the worst that can happen is that the tape has no effect.For more information visit https://www.sporttape.co.uk/pages/sporttape-faqsIeuan ThomasSPORTTAPELike SportsInjuryFix on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfixLinks to positive studies(1) Kaplan et al (2016) Short-Term Effects of Kinesio Taping in Women with Pregnancy-Related Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trialhttps://www.medscimonit.com/download/index/idArt/898353(2) Chen et al. (2008) Biomechanics Effects of Kinesio Taping for Persons with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome During Stair Climbinghttps://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-540-69139-6_100(3) Taradaj et al (2010) Evaluation of the effectiveness of kinesio taping application in a patient with secondary lymphedema in breast cancer: a case report(4) Chan et a. Effects of KT on the timing and ratio of VMO and Vastus Lateralis with PF Painhttps://isbweb.org/images/conf/2007/ISB/0216.pdf(5) González-Iglesias et al (2009) Short-term effects of cervical KT on pain and cervical range of motion in patients with acute whiplash                                     https://www.jospt.org/doi/pdf/10.2519/jospt.2009.3072

What is Kinesiology Tape and How Does it Work? Written June 2016

Guest blog by Pete from Brixton It was a high point in my running career. London marathon second time round. Eyeing up a fast time. Training had been... well, good until the last few weeks when my 'gentle taper' was replaced in my schedule with 'abrupt taper' (2 weeks, no running) as a shin issue bit. But I got to the start line feeling good. I went out hard. Too hard it turns out (think half marathon PB hard) and I paid the price in the latter part of the race. But as I hit the final three miles the crowd started going wild. Really wild. Wow, I thought. I must look good. Then Paula Radcliffe's camera motorbike nearly ran me over from behind and all became clear, but as Paula passed me I kicked.  I'd escaped near death under a cambikes wheels; I owed it to myself to push on. And besides, 'I just beat the women's world record holder in the marathon' makes a far better status update than 'I almost got run down by the world record holders entourage and came in behind her'. And I did it. Crossed the line for a new PB.  And then... I couldn't walk. I stopped and couldn't start again in anything other than a lopsided hobble. And for the next month I continued to hobble. Stubbornly refusing to seek help (shell out my hard earned cash). Finally sense overcame frugality and I went to my local physio. The treatment was long overdue. There was something wrong with my glute, my hip flexors were tight, and I needed to strengthen my abductors. The 'manipulation' was painful, but delivered what I needed. I did the exercises, they helped; I had more manipulation, it helped. And slowly my slanty walking became a natural stroll and I could run for a bus rather than doddering towards one.   Then the physio I had been with left the practice and I couldn't really face trying to either try another person with no knowledge of what they'd be like or spend the time doing the research to dig out another practice nearby that truly understood marathon running injuries and start all over again. So I left it. And of course I relapsed. My recovery has been a lot slower as a result, though I'm finally getting back to it. But this is 12 months after crossing the line. The physio was a good thing (and hindsight is even better); but I should have gone sooner. I should have gone back. I wish SportsInjuryFix.com was around then as the convenience together with the tailored approach to a specific injury at the very earliest stage makes it far more likely I'll get help the next time I push too hard in the name of a good status update! Many thanks to Pete from Brixton for sharing his story. Find your nearest running injury specialist at sportsinjuryfix.com If you’ve got a good article to share then please contact us at info@sportsinjuryfix.com

Pushing yourself to an injury for a status update Written June 2016